Athletics: Russia pledges response to doping, corruption allegations

Athletics: Russia pledges response to doping, corruption allegations
PHOTO: Reuters

Russia on Tuesday pledged to cooperate with anti-doping and international athletics authorities after a damning report into allegations of doping and corruption in athletics in the country.

A bombshell report from an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released Monday said Russia's athletics federation should be suspended from all competitions.

It outlined evidence of systematic cheating with the consent of the government in Moscow, noting that drug tests for athletes were conducted at a Russian laboratory that totally lacked credibility.

"The commission has done a lot of work and its recommendations will help Russia in further improving its anti-doping systems," Russia's sports ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

"The sports ministry will carefully study the conclusions and the facts that they were based on and see how to take appropriate steps," it said, warning that WADA, however, should act "on the basis of facts and evidence".

The WADA panel's findings called for athletics' governing body (IAAF) to suspend Russia's athletics body (ARAF) and declare it "non-compliant" with globally agreed doping regulations.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said he would give Russia until Friday to respond to the scathing report.

The ARAF said in a statement late Monday that it would send a document to the IAAF "in the very near future" outlining the federations anti-doping programme and "its reaction to the deductions and conclusions" WADA commission's report.

"We are prepared for a serious strategic partnership with the IAAF, including aimed overcoming a problem in both Russian and international athletics," the statement said.

The IAAF Council is due to meet Friday to discuss the crisis facing the Olympic flagship sport, and Russia faces a provisional suspension at the next IAAF meeting this month in Monaco.

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