Russian athletes Olympics ban remains after Vienna talks

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

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

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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Where to watch the Qatar World Cup on TV in Austria

The football World Cup, also known as WM for Weltmeisterschaft in Austria, is starting soon. Here's what you need to know about where to watch the games - even though the Austrian team is not playing.

Where to watch the Qatar World Cup on TV in Austria

The football World Cup is taking place in Qatar this November (a novelty in many ways and European fans of the sport will watch the games during winter for the first time). The Qatar 2022 World Cup starts on Sunday, November 20th and the finals will take place on Sunday, December 18th.

Austria did not qualify for the tournament. The last time the national team was in a FIFA World Cup was in 1998 when they were eliminated in the group stage in France after failing to win a single game. The national team’s best results came in 1954 when they reached 3rd place in the competition.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Who is Austria’s new football coach Ralf Rangnick?

Despite the country being better known for its results in winter sports, football is a much-beloved sport in Austria. Adding to that, the millions of people with ties to other countries (both Germany and Serbia, home of two of the largest immigrant groups in Austria), and the World Cup is a significant event in the Alpine country. 

So how can I watch it at home?

It all comes down to who owns the broadcasting rights in Austria. The good news is that only two channels have the rights to broadcast World Cup matches – which avoids the confusing and annoying act of swapping channels and looking for the games. 

The best news is that one of the broadcasters is public ORF, meaning that most games will be free to watch and could be streamed from the ORF app (TVThek) and live website as well.

READ ALSO: What you should know about Austria and Germany’s ‘Stammtisch’ tradition

ORF 1 will broadcast 39 of the 64 World Cup matches, including the opening and final matches. ORF has sublicensed the remaining 25 games to ServusTV, a private channel in Austria with a good streaming app.

In the group phase, up to four matches a day (with kick-offs at 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm and 8 pm) are scheduled. ORF1 will show all games live except those with a start time of 5.00 p.m. and three others with a kick-off at 2.00 p.m – which will then be broadcast by ServusTV. 

There will be a summary of each of these matches at around 10.15 pm, according to the broadcaster.

SPONSORED: World Cup 2022: How to watch every game, wherever you are

Will there be any big screens to watch matches outdoors?

Austria has previously had many public viewing spots out in the open set up for the World Cup. However, with the energy crisis and the fact that these games will take place during the European winter, there are very few open spaces with big screens.

It will still possible to watch WC matches in many bars and restaurants. The hospitality sector does not need a specific licence to broadcast the ORF matches (as long as they already have all necessary permits with ORF).

READ ALSO: How to swear like an Austrian

Some famous sports bars, such as Plützer Bräu in Vienna’s Spittelberg, have already announced public-view events with buffet food and drinks. You can check more information here.

But there are other ones; you can check your local pub, bar or tavern to see which games they are showing and whether or not there are any special offers in place.

Do you know a cool place to watch the games in Austria? Let us know and we will publish a list of your suggestions. Just send an email to [email protected].