Athletics: Australia will be `shocked` if Russia allowed at Rio

Australia`s athletics chief says he will be shocked if scandal-hit Russia is allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics.

AFP| Updated: Jun 17, 2016, 06:22 AM IST

Sydney: Australia`s athletics chief says he will be shocked if scandal-hit Russia is allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics with the IAAF due to make its decision on Friday.

World track and field`s governing body meets in Vienna to decide whether to re-admit the All-Russian Athletic Federation, which was suspended in November over explosive doping and corruption allegations.

Russia`s problems were compounded by a bombshell report by the World Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday which claimed hundreds of attempts to carry out drug tests on Russian athletes this year have been thwarted.

Athletics Australia chief executive Phil Jones said he would be stunned if Russian athletes were allowed to take part in Rio de Janeiro.

"I think it would be shocking (if Russia took part) given the WADA revelations (this week), and not only that but the systemic nature of the doping that was originally revealed by WADA," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late Thursday.

"But I really do think this seems to be the nail in the coffin.

"I think when you`ve got athletes refusing to be tested, there are clearly implications just from that."
WADA said drug testers had faced intimidation and threats from armed Russian security forces while athletes continued to evade doping control officers with a variety of techniques.

With more details of systemic doping emerging, there have been calls for a centralised anti-doping system to a replace the current series of local agencies, a move Jones said made sense.

"I think the idea of a local agency testing their own athletes is simply not going to stand the test of time. We`ve seen with Russia, not only in athletics but in other sports," he said.

"The challenge then becomes, if you`re having an international agency looking after the whole programme, the costs become enormous, exponentially higher than they are now.
"That has implications as well for sport globally."

In its bid to overturn the IAAF ban, Russia has announced a raft of reforms including the introduction of compulsory anti-doping classes in schools to reform attitudes toward the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Russia`s sports minister Vitaly Mutko on Thursday said Moscow had done everything demanded of it by the IAAF.