In light of allegations linking Russian athletes to a doping scandal, the Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko responded in a very defensive manner, before admitting that Russian athletes could be banned from participating in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
The IAAF has provisionally suspended Russia, amid widespread doping allegations, after a 323 paged report was put together by the former head of World Anti-Doping Association’s Dick Pound, over an 11 month period.
– Russia: Federation pays price with IAAF ban
The report highlights the involvement of sports officials, lab testers, athletes and security service agents, in what could be seen as a joint effort to cover up doping violations, whether it is for personal gain or to improve competitive chances of success in competitions.
Mutko has admitted that Russia does have a doping problem, and promised to cooperate with WADA to get rid of it from the country's sporting endeavours.
Despite it being an issue Russia has to solve, Mutko admitted it’s more of “a global problem” and that clean athletes should be protected.
Mutko also stated that he will fight to keep Russia involved in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Russia has been provisionally suspended from all international athletics competitions by the IAAF.
The move, which comes after last week’s revelations by the World Anti-Doping Agency, was passed almost unanimously in a vote of IAAF Council members on Friday night.
Of 23 eligible council members, 22 voted in favour of the sanction with one voting against. The member for Russia was ineligible to vote.
There was no guarantee that Russia will be reinstated before next year’s Olympics with a wide range of criteria set out for them to meet before being allowed to return.
“Today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF (All-Russia Athletic Federation) and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said.
“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.”
The ban means athletes from Russia may not enter international competitions, including the World Athletic Series and Rio Olympics, which begin on 5 August next year.
Russia will also not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Cup in Cheboksary and the 2016 World Juniors in Kazan.
Prior to the news of the IAAF provisionally suspended Russia’s Athletics federation, pole vault world record holder, and one of Russia’s most decorated athletes, Yelena Isinbayeva, wrote an open letter.
“Throughout my sports career, I honestly worked, trained, won world championships and the Olympic Games, broke world records,” said the 33-year-old, who won bronze at London 2012.
“All my victories are honest, clean and well-deserved. I urge you not to align all athletes with the same brush.”
Downtown Dubai was flooded with more than 13,000 runners on Friday to kick off Nike’s We Run DXB, hailed as the fastest 10k race of the season.
The record number of participants more than doubled the total of last December’s edition which saw over 6,000 runners come out.
After conquering the 10k route, the crowd gathered for the Nikehosted post-race celebrations in Burj Park, where athletes received recovery treatments, sports massages and stretching sessions, along with enjoyable dance routines.
We Run DXB 2015 is part of the global Nike We Run Series hosted by 18 cities across Europe, Latin America and Asia and ranging in distances from 5K to a full marathon.
This year, We Run races will reach more than 140,000 runners worldwide.