Coe stands tough on doping

Sebastian Coe at World Economic Forum. Photo: Moritz Hager
Sebastian Coe at World Economic Forum. Photo: Moritz Hager

Following an IAAF council meeting in Monaco on Monday, president Sebastian Coe said Russian athletics could not expect “full reinstatement” before November. The Russian government and Russian athletics continue to deny any state support for doping. Specifically, the decision rules out Russian athletes competing for their country at the world championships in August in London. The IAAF has also frozen all nationality switches.

Monday’s meeting followed the publication in December by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren of the second part of his report into state-sponsored doping, listing hundreds of failed drug tests, which were allegedly covered up by the Russian authorities.

The IAAF has demanded an official Russian response to McLaren’s findings from the sports ministry and the FSB, Russia’s federal security service.

“Our priority is to return clean athletes to competition but we must all have confidence in the process,” Coe said. “Clean Russian athletes have been badly let down by their national system. We must ensure they are protected and that those safeguards give confidence to the rest of the world that there is a level playing field of competition when Russians return.”

The IAAF suspended Russia from all international competition in November 2015 after the first part of the McLaren report alleged mass doping and cover-ups. Since February 2016, testing in Russia has been overseen by the UK’s Anti-Doping Agency because its Russian counterpart was banned from handling samples due to corruption claims.

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