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Bombshell report urges Russian ban over state-sanctioned doping

Russia’s athletics federation should be suspended from all competition, including the 2016 Olympic Games, over widespread doping, a damning report by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said.

The report outlined evidence of systematic cheating with the consent of the government in Moscow, noting that drug tests for athletes were conducted at a Russian lab which totally lacked credibility.

“It’s pretty disturbing,” said former WADA chief Richard Pound, who headed the three-man commission, adding that the extent of the cheating was “worse than we thought”.

The panel’s findings called for athletics’ governing body (IAAF) to suspend Russia’s athletics body (ARAF) and declare it “non-compliant” with globally agreed doping regulations.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said he would give Russia until Friday to respond to the scathing report.

“I want an explanation,” Coe said on Monday on a conference call. “I am completely shocked by the allegations.”

“My instinct remains to encourage engagement not isolation, but the extent of what’s being said, I need to seek (IAAF) council support to have them (Russia) report back by the end of the week.”

The IAAF Council are due to meet Friday to discuss the crisis facing the Olympic’s flagship sport, and the country faces a provisional suspension at the next IAAF meeting this month in Monaco. 

The Russian sports ministry said in a statement late Monday that it was “not surprised by most of the points” made in the WADA commission report.

“We are fully aware of the problems in the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) and we have undertaken measures to remedy the situation: there is a new president in ARAF, a new head coach, and they are currently rejuvenating the coaching staff,” the statement read.

“Russia has been and will continue to be fully committed to the fight against doping in sport.”

ARAF’s acting president has said the federation would ask for an extension of the one week deadline.

WADA’s commission also called for five Russian athletes including 800m Olympic winner Mariya Savinova -- to be given lifetime bans, suggesting the presence of doped athletes had “sabotaged” the 2012 Games in London.
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