The responses to the IAAF Council meeting today was fast and wide. The support has been overwhelming, although Mr. Mutko did claim, just before the meeting that the IAAF hid 155 doping tests.
CURRENT CASE IAAF COUNCIL DECISION
LONDON (GBR): IAAF Council has provisionally suspended the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) as an IAAF Member with immediate effect. The decision was taken at 201st IAAF Council Meeting which was held by teleconference and chaired from London by IAAF President Sebastian Coe. A total of 24 Members of Council took part in the meeting: 22 voted in favour of the sanction against ARAF, who have been officially informed of the Council’s decision, 1 voted against. The Council Member from Russia (Mikhail Butov) was not eligible to participate in the vote. The suspension is set to begin immediately and would bar Russian athletes from competition until the country can prove it has improved its anti-doping system and can comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code. Athletes could miss next March’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland as well as the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Commenting on the decision, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “Today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time. But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world. This has been a shameful wake up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated. To this end, the IAAF, WADA, the member federations and athletes need to look closely at ourselves, our cultures and our processes to identify where failures exist and be tough in our determination to fix them and rebuild trust in our sport. There can be no more important focus for our sport.” Using its powers under the IAAF Constitution Article 6.11(b) and Article 14.7 the members of the IAAF Council provisionally suspended ARAF on charges of breach of the Objects of the IAAF. The IAAF’s Objects include amongst others developing and maintaining programmes aimed at eradicating doping from the sport and safeguarding the authenticity and integrity of Athletics. To regain membership to the IAAF the new federation would have to fulfil a list of criteria. An inspection team led by Independent Chair Rune Andersen, an independent international anti-doping expert (Norwegian) and three members of the IAAF Council who will be appointed in the next few days. Unless ARAF voluntarily accepts a full suspension, the IAAF is entitled to proceed to a full hearing on whether the provisional suspension should be made a full suspension.
LONDON (GBR): IAAF Athletes Commission head Frankie Fredericks also offered a statement on behalf of the commission: “The IAAF Athletes’ Commission is extremely disappointed and concerned regarding the recent developments and allegations directed at our sport. We are angry at the damage being caused to the reputation and credibility of athletics and are united alongside our President to not shy away from the major challenges that face our sport. The athletes will work together to continue the process of cleaning up athletics to ensure those athletes training and competing cleanly are not tainted by the minority. We send a clear message to clean athletes in a dirty system to report any doping or cheating that they see or hear about. We are 100% in support of President Coe and believe that he is the leader that our sport needs to instigate the necessary actions swiftly and strongly.”
LONDON (GBR): Consequences of the IAAF Council decision are that the athletes, and athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in International Competitions including World Athletic Series competitions and the Olympic Games. Russia will not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Team Championships (Cheboksary) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan). Also ARAF should conduct of all outstanding doping cases to CAS. On the other hand Russian athletes can participate in domestic competitions. International level athletes in Russia will continue to comply with the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules, including out of competition testing programme. IAAF will announce the reallocation or cancellation of the two IAAF World Athletics Series events as soon as possible. Interest was mentioned from Finland for the World Juniors and Ireland for the Race Walking Team Championships.
LONDON (GBR): IAAF President Sebastian Coe also took the Council through his reform programme. He has asked Paul Deighton, former CEO of LOCOG and UK Government Minister, to oversee the programme which will be carried out by Deloitte. Forensic accountants from Deloitte and the leading legal firm Freshfields began work at the IAAF HQ yesterday. He also told the Council that he will create an integrity unit for athletics consisting of an independent integrity board and review panels. The unit will cover all areas of integrity for international level athletes and athlete support personnel (anti-doping, illegal betting, anti-corruption, transfers of allegiance and age manipulation.
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian Sports Minister Vitaliy Mutko said for R-Sport that Russian athletes still have the chance to compete at Rio Games. “The chance is there, suspension is provisional. In the coming months we need to fulfill several requirements. We spent time with many discussions and had the feeling that all can be over today. Anyway, we will work, we need to prepare now for the next stage, prepare actions on the matter, consult and follow the recommendations,” said Mutko.