WADA throws the hammer at Russia’s 2016 hopes

Just nine months before the start of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, one heavyweight country in now in danger of missing some of its biggest events. A Monday report from the World Anti-Doping Agency accused Russia of widespread, state-supported doping in track and field events. According to the WADA, Moscow testing laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov ordered the “intentional and malicious destruction” of 1,417 doping control samples to deny evidence for the investigation and that government agents had infiltrated Russia’s anti-doping work at the Sochi Olympics. The WADA commission recommended that WADA declare the Russian athletics federation “noncompliant” with the global anti-doping code, and that the IAAF suspend the federation from competition. Meanwhile, the IAAF stated that it would mull sanctions against the country, including a possible suspension for Russian track and field athletes from international competition, including the Summer Olympics.

“The information in WADA’s Independent Commissions Report is alarming,” said IAAF President, Sebastian Coe said in a statement. “We need time to properly digest and understand the detailed findings included in the report. However, I have urged the Council to start the process of considering sanctions against ARAF. This step has not been taken lightly. Our athletes, partners and fans have my total assurance that where there are failures in our governance or our anti-doping programs we will fix them. We will do whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport. The IAAF will continue to offer the police authorities our full co-operation into their ongoing investigation.”

Meanwhile, the IOC released its own statement on the scandal, noting that it will offer a zero tolerance policy, writing, “this is a deeply shocking report and very saddening for the world of sport… With regard to the Olympic Games, the IOC will continue to take whatever measures needed to safeguard clean athletes, clean sport and good governance. In the most recent Olympic Summit meeting we have decided to make testing independent from sports organizations and have entrusted WADA to come up with proposals.”

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