Paris - European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen does not expect Russia
to return to international competition in time for next year's Olympic
Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Russian athletes were banned indefinitely by the International
Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after a World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA) report alleged widespread corruption and a state-sponsored
drugs culture in a sporting superpower.
An IAAF inspection committee is due to visit Russia in January to
oversee the country's reform process and ensure the criteria set out by
the sport's ruling body are met.
The committee will report back to the IAAF Council at the earliest at
its meeting in Cardiff, Wales, on March 27, less than five months before
"For the moment they have to fulfil the conditions, but I cannot really
see them competing in Rio," Hansen, whose body includes Russia as a
member federation, told Athletics Weekly magazine on Tuesday.
"They must have a cultural change. They must get rid of all those people from before."
European Athletics, which oversees the sport in Europe, works with the IAAF world governing body on doping and medical issues.
However, the organisation will have no influence on the decision to
reinstate Russia as an IAAF member, which will only be made on the
recommendation of the world ruling body's inspection team.
Norwegian Hansen believes that Russia's Athletic Federation (ARAF),
which has confirmed it will co-operate fully with the inspection team,
will work hard to change the culture.
"We know some good people in Russian athletics and I'm sure they will be
elected. We hope that some new people will come in who really
understand that this must be changed," he said.
Russian athletes will not be able to compete in the world indoor championships in Oregon in March.
Russia has also lost the hosting rights to next year's race walking
World Cup and the world junior championships which were scheduled to
take place in Cheboksary and Kazan respectively.