19 Jun 2016

Athletics NZ calls on IOC not to backdown on Russia

6:37 am on 19 June 2016

Athletics New Zealand is calling on the International Olympic Committee not to offer a dispensation for Russian athletes and allow them to compete at the Rio Games.

The international governing body for athletics, the IAAF, has upheld an international competition, ban which will rule Russian track and field athletes out of the Games unless the IOC offers a dispensation.


IAAF Photo: Supplied

The IOC executive board is due to meet next week where a decision on any dispensation would be made.

Athletics NZ chief executive Linda Hamersley

Athletics NZ chief executive Linda Hamersley Photo: Photosport

However Athletics New Zealand chief executive Linda Hamersley said any dispensation would be a mistake.

"The IAAF have set the standard now and I would like to think that the clear message to any other country and unclean athletes (is) you can't get away with it," Hamersley said.

"So I would like the IOC to uphold the IAAF decision."

Hamersley said the banning of Russian athletes was unlikely to have much of an impact on New Zealand's medal chances in track and field, but it was the wider implications that were important.

Polevaulter Eliza McCartney

Banning Russian athletes is unlikely to have much impact results-wise for NZ athletes like pole vaulter Eliza McCartney in Rio Photo: Photosport

"It's not huge from a results perspective (for New Zealand athletes) but it is huge from a confidence perspective that our athletes go in there now knowing that they're clean and they are doing the right thing and they'll be competing in a more even playing field," Hamersley said.