Russian athletes Olympics ban remains after Vienna talks

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Russian athletes Olympics ban remains after Vienna talks
IAAF/Philippe Fitte

The international athletics body IAAF have decided to uphold the ban on Russian athletes competing in the upcoming Olympic games.


The announcement came on Friday after the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) reportedly unanimously voted to keep the ban in place.

The country's "extended suspension" was confirmed on Twitter by the Russian state news agency TASS.

The Russian athletics team had been banned last November following a huge doping scandal that was exposed in a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The report suggested the doping of athletes to help improve their performance at the games received state backing in Russia.

Today the Council of the IAAF met in Vienna to discuss whether to lift the ban and allow the country to compete in the Rio 2016 games.

Russia reportedly did not meet the criteria drawn up by the task force that was carrying out the assessment.

It is thought that French Council member Bernard Amsalem and Canadian counterpart Abby Hoffman argued most strongly to keep the ban. Russia was not taking part in the vote.

The talks followed further revelations earlier this week about the extent to which Russian athletes avoided being tested for performance-enhancing drugs, including even running away from testing authorities.

The latest damning report from the WADA suggested following their ban last November, the Russian athletics team have failed to show a change in culture and many have still been failing drug tests.

According to WADA, 73 of 455 tests on athletes could not be collected, 736 tests were declined or cancelled and 52 findings taken by the doping control officers were “adverse”.

One athlete who was caught using a container to provide fake clean urine allegedly then tried to bribe the doping control officer.

The IAAF considered whether Russia has made enough changes regarding their doping tests to be allowed to compete in August’s games.

In theory the decision could be overruled by the International Olympic Committee if they disagree with the IAAF's conclusions.


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