WADA urges Russian ban over state-sanctioned doping

WADA's report outlined evidence of systematic cheating, with the awareness and consent of the authorities in Moscow, noting that drug tests for athletes were conducted at a Russian lab which lacked total credibility.

Richard W. Pound, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Founding President and former IOC Vice President.   -  Reuters

Russian athletics should be suspended from all competition, including the 2016 Olympic Games, a damning report by World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) independent commission into widespread doping and corruption urged on Monday.

The report outlined evidence of systematic cheating, with the awareness and consent of the authorities in Moscow, noting that drug tests for athletes were conducted at a Russian lab which lacked total credibility.

The commission, headed by former WADA chief Richard Pound “has recommended that the (International Athletics Federation) suspend ARAF (Russian athletics federation),” said the report set up to investigate the scandal that has rocked athletics, the flagship sport of the Olympics.

Doping was state-supported: Pound

WADA also called for five Russian athletes—including 800m Olympic winner Mariya Savinova—to be given lifetime bans, suggesting the presence of doped athletes had “sabotaged” the 2012 Games in London.

The report, which said “systematic doping” extended beyond Russia and athletics, also wants to see Moscow's anti-doping laboratory stripped of its accreditation and its director fired.

Pound, who headed a three-man commission, told journalists that given the extent of the cheating among Russian track athletes, the doping was state-supported and “could not have happened” without tacit approval of authorities in Moscow.

Considering sanctions against ARAF: Coe

IAAF president Sebastien Coe, giving his first reaction in London, said the report's conclusions were “alarming” but he had begun the process “of considering sanctions against ARAF” (Russian Athletics federation).

“We need time to properly digest and understand the detailed findings included in the report,” Coe said in a statement.

“However, I have urged the Council to start the process of considering sanctions against ARAF.”

The crisis in athletics first erupted with allegations of doping aired in a German TV documentary in December 2014.

Pound said that “overwhelming portions” of the programme had been proven accurate.