Russian Athletics’ Next Hurdle Is An Olympics Ban, Courtesy Of Doping

Russia’s athletics doping scandal kicked into high gear today, with the sport’s governing body banning the country from competing in international events until they clean up their act. This is a slight problem for Russia, as it all but seals them out of competing in 2016 Rio Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said doping in the nation was systemic, and the system would require a top-to-bottom overhaul before Russia gets another chance at going for gold. 
What’s more, unlike some of those contests, this one wasn’t even close: the nation was banned with a 22-to-1 majority vote. 
The group’s president Sebastian Coe said the scandal  “has been a shameful wake-up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated.”

Russia absolutely cleaned up at London’s 2012 event, claiming 24 gold medals, 25 silver and 32 bronze. It’s been confirmed that at least some of those winners were doping at the time, most notably 800M Olympic champion runner Mariya Savinova-Farsonova. She’s already been threatened with a life ban from competing.

At least one Australian would have also been better off at the last Games if confirmed dopers were stripped of their titles; race-walker Jared Tallent would have taken a step up to gold if winner Sergey Kirdyapkin wasn’t allowed to compete.

Russia doesn’t have a huge amount of time to make the changes necessary to compete in the next Games, let alone the other athletics championships before then, so it might be a while before we hear their cracking national anthem again. 

Story via ABC.
Image: Stu Forster via Getty.