Svein Arne Hansen, the President of European Athletics, says he doesn’t expect Russia’s ban will be lifted in time for the country to compete at next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia last month after shocking allegations of state-sponsored doping were revealed in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission report.
A number of targets the Russians must meet for reinstatement have been released, but with no timeframe set there are huge doubts over participation in Rio.
Hansen said he expects the country will not have enough time to meet all of the necessary criteria in time for an Olympics which begins in August.
“For the moment they have to fulfill the conditions, but I cannot really see them competing in Rio,” he told Athletics Weekly.
“We will have the first report to the IAAF in March, but for the moment they have to really, really put a lot of effort in to compete in Rio.
“They must have a cultural change.
“They must get rid of all those people from before.
“The system was such that they have a good result and you’re paid more.
“You get paid by the medals, and the coaches, so it’s not really good.
“But I’m sure the good people in Russia will work hard to change this.”
Members of the IAAF Council voted 22-1 to ban the All-Russia Athletics Federation following the Independent Commission revelations.
To have the ban lifted, Russia must meet all WADA requirements as well as the IAAF Anti-Doping rules and regulations.
The IAAF have said the country needs to “clean house” with a first inspection visit due on January 10 and 11.
- By Dan Palmer
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, www.insidethegames.biz