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IAAF: Russia Accepts Athletics Ban Following Doping Report

  • Mike Richman

President of IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) Sebastian Coe, right, with President of USA Track & Field (USATF) Stephanie Hightower, left, followed by Frank Fredericks, centre, member of the International Olympic Committee, as they arrive to a press conference after the 202nd IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.

President of IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) Sebastian Coe, right, with President of USA Track & Field (USATF) Stephanie Hightower, left, followed by Frank Fredericks, centre, member of the International Olympic Committee, as they arrive to a press conference after the 202nd IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.

The world athletics governing body says Russia has accepted a full, indefinite suspension from international competition, following a report alleging that Russia's athletes were part of a state-sponsored blood doping scheme.

The International Association of Athletics Federations confirmed the suspension Thursday following a council meeting in Monaco and said the Russian athletics federation did not request a hearing.

The IAAF said the Russian federation (Araf) promised to cooperate with inspectors who will oversee changes to its drug-testing program and is eligible to apply for reinstatement.

"Araf confirmed they understood that the council would only accept their reinstatement as an IAAF member following the recommendation of the IAAF inspection team who will decide if the verification criteria have been fulfilled," according to an IAAF statement. "Araf confirmed they will cooperate fully and actively with the team."

Earlier this month, the IAAF voted 22-1 to suspend Russia from participating in global track and field events in light of the blood doping allegations. The suspension includes banning the Russian track and field team from competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe called it the toughest sanction that can be applied at this time.

Russia's Sports Minister Vitaliy Mutko said Russian officials will do all they can to see that Russian athletes can compete at the 2016 summer games.

Scathing report

The IAAF vote came after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued a report implicating Russian athletes, coaches, doctors and a Moscow drug-testing laboratory in a blood doping scheme. The report also said Russian state officials must have known about the systemic doping.

WADA suspended the drug-testing laboratory for six months and accused it of manipulating athletes' drug tests so they appear clean.

A WADA commission also recommended disqualifying several Russian athletes and coaches from international competitions. But most significantly, it called for Russia to be banned from international athletics, including the Rio Olympics, until it can show that doping is no longer a problem.

Russia initially said the doping allegations were "groundless" and insisted its policies strictly adhere to those of WADA and the International Olympic Committee.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said Russia needed to conduct its own probe into the allegations that its athletes took performance enhancing substances. He said somebody must take responsibility for the problem.

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