Los Angeles - Leaders of the world's most
prominent national anti-doping bodies on Monday called for Russian track and
field athletes to be banned from next year's Olympics, saying the sanction was
necessary to deter drug cheats.
A statement from the Institute of National
Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO), a 53-member umbrella group made the call on
the eve of a key World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) meeting in Colorado Springs.
Britain's David Kenworthy, the chairman of
iNADO and head of UK Anti-Doping, said in a statement the vast state-supported
doping program detailed by WADA's Independent Commission last week was a
"tragedy for sport."
WADA's commission recommended Russia and
its national governing body for athletics be banned for the Rio de Janeiro
On Friday, the International Association of
Athletics Federations (IAAF) provisionally suspended Russia from all
However, the IAAF action fell short of
stating explicitly that Russian athletes would be barred from the Olympics,
raising the prospect that they would be allowed to compete after all.
But in a statement issued after an iNADO
meeting in Colorado on Monday, Kenworthy said Russian athletes needed to be
banned to send a message.
"The ARAF - Russia's national
federation for athletics - and its athletes must be suspended from the 2016 Rio
de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games," he said.
"The corruption in Russian Athletics
deserves no less. ARAF has not demonstrated that they are capable of sending a
clean team to Games.
"A strong deterrent message must be
sent that national federations cannot participate in the highest levels of
competition when anti-doping has been intentionally subverted.
"The actions by the ARAF, which
deliberately flouted the rules of sport, have tainted all Russian athletes in
the sport of Athletics."
WADA is expected to rule against Russia's
anti-doping body when it meets in Colorado this week, a key session which will
aim to build a framework for new strategies in the global war on drug cheats.