15 Nov 2015

Athletics in a 'shameful situation' - Coe

5:26 am on 15 November 2015

The president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Sebastian Coe, says world athletics is in a shameful situation.

The IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe.

The IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

His comment follows the IAAF council vote on Saturday to ban all Russians from competing in world athletics competitions.

The council voted 22-1 in favour of the sanction, with the Russian representative not able to cast a ballot.

The decision came after the IAAF held a three-hour teleconference, hosted by president Sebastian Coe, to discuss Tuesday's report by the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which recommended the punishment.

The report alleged "systemic" collusion between Russian athletes and the country's federation and anti-doping authorities and a "deeply-rooted culture of cheating" that enabled athletes to take performance-enhancing drugs without fear of being tested.

Positive tests were covered up or destroyed.

The report recommended suspending the Russian federation until a "new framework" was in place.

Speaking to reporters after the vote, Coe said Russia's future is in its own hands.

"It is entirely up to the Russian Federation and Russia to enact those changes. Our verification team will be tough and we will want to make sure that before there is a reintroduction to the sport for their athletes those changes have taken place."

Prior to his country's ex-communication from world athletics, the Russian sports minister said his sports administrators would do whatever the IAAF told them.

"We are ready to cooperate so that our athletics is brought up to the norms demanded of us," Vitaly Mutko said on Friday

He went on to unveil concessions he said would be on the table, including sacking the leaders of the national athletics body, creating a new Russian anti-doping agency, and possibly bringing criminal charges against people involved in doping.

"He (Russian President Vladimir Putin) instructed us to do everything ... to once again analyse and study the facts and if necessary to create a new system that has the confidence of the international community," Mutko said.

He said he had removed the head of a Moscow anti-doping laboratory because he had lost the confidence of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). And he said he would consult with WADA when choosing a new boss for the laboratory.

But he also sounded a defiant note, saying Russia should not be singled out for special treatment when other countries were performing worse when it came to stamping out performance-enhancing drugs.

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