Multiple sources have now confirmed that Russian athletes will not be competing on the track in Rio this year.
Today Seb Coe and the IAAF met in Vienna to reevaluate whether or not Russian athletes would be allowed to compete in running events during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. They did not lift their ban which has been in place since the fall. This has been confirmed by The New York Times and The Guardian.
Back in November, Russia was banned from all international competition after allegations of state-supported doping in sport were found to be true by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigation. The findings of that investigation led by Canadian Dick Pound were published in a 325-page report which found system of mass doping going on at the highest level. Russia was kicked out of competition including the Olympics.
The deadline for the IAAF to decide whether or not that ban would be lifted was set for today.
Since November, the country has gone to some effort to clean up their act on time for the Olympics but for months now, the IAAF, WADA and all following the international running scene have been wondering if those efforts would be good enough.
The Russian sports ministry responded to the suspension being upheld, with the full statement below.
Please see a statement from the Russian Ministry of Sport regarding the IAAF decision. pic.twitter.com/Mbtm5LayKY
— Natalia Zhelanova (@Zhelanova) June 17, 2016
On Wednesday– two days ahead of the IAAF deadline– WADA published a damning report that suggested that this was not the case. The report that was unleashed said that Russian athletes have been avoiding tests by not accurately giving their whereabouts, claiming to be in military towns (where it’s tough to get access) refusing tests or pulling out of competition when doping control was present.
To add to that, it gave detail on how doping control officers have been blocked by Russian officials. Samples had been tampered with at customs and security officials intimidated WADA testers.
Months of speculation as to whether or not Russian would be readmitted on time for the August Games have been put to an end today. There is however a chance that athletes who can prove to be clean of performance ehancing drugs will go to court to appeal this decision.