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Not only Russia

Warner: Other countries have doping problems

Russia is not the only country with systemic doping problems, says United Kingdom Athletics chairman Ed Warner.

A World Anti-Doping Agency commission report has accused Russia of running a “state-sponsored” doping programme.

And Warner said he feels sports other than athletics have reason to be concerned at how Russian sport is run.

Russia are not the only state dopers, says Ed Warner.

Russia are not the only state dopers, says Ed Warner.

“This iceberg spreads in two different directions,” he said. “I suspect there are probably four, five or six nations that athletics has a problem with.”

Commission chairman Dick Pound said Russia’s athletics federation, Araf, should be banned from the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Warner told BBC Radio 5 live: “Every other international sport today should be looking at Russian sport and looking at whether the men and women who compete in their events are clean.”

“They do not have robust anti-doping regimes. They are asleep on the job –– and they have to be rooted out.”

Wada’s independent commission, which examined allegations of doping, cover-ups and extortion in Russian athletics, also implicated the International Association of Athletics’ Federations.

The IAAF’s former president Lamine Diack has been provisionally suspended by the International Olympic Committee, who have also asked the IAAF to start disciplinary action against the athletes named in the report.

Araf has been told to respond to the report by Friday and Russia have defended their position.

Acting head of Russia Athletics Federation, Vadim Zelichenok, said: “There is an element of a political hit job here because quite a few things were described in the report in a biased way.”

Russia’s sports ministry has said it will work more closely with Wada. Igor Zagorskiy, deputy director of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, Rusada, told the BBC: “There is always room for improvement.

“We are on that track and we’ve been on that track together with Wada. We will continue this work on this.”

Warner says the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), must be restructured to combat the problem.

He revealed that he had spoken to IAAF president Lord Coe since Monday’s publication of Wada’s independent commission, which examined allegations of doping, cover-ups and extortion in Russian athletics, and also implicated the IAAF.

During a special BBC Radio 5 live programme examining the independent report, Britain’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe said: “I don’t think anyone is under the impression it’s only Russia.”

On the same programme, former British sprinter Darren Campbell warned of “darker days to come”.

He said: “This report was about Russia, and they need to be punished if this holds up, but we’ll lose sight on the bigger issues if we focus on Russia. It’s about cleaning everything out.

“There’s people talking about testing out in Kenya and Jamaica. We can’t have rumours anymore.

“We need to understand how the Russians got away with it. How did this happen yet nobody knew?

“No matter how dark and depressing it gets, change has to happen now.

Meanwhile the Moscow Antidoping Centre has had its accreditation suspended by Wada.

Banned Liliya Shobukhova says all Russian athletes should not be barred from international competition.

Banned Liliya Shobukhova says all Russian athletes should not be barred from international competition.

The ban, which takes immediate effect, prohibits the centre from carrying out any Wada-related anti-doping activity.

The centre may appeal against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice.

“The Moscow laboratory is provisionally suspended, and the status of the laboratory’s accreditation beyond that will be decided by a disciplinary committee which will be formed shortly to review the case,” Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said.

Following the closure of the laboratory, all samples will be transported to an alternative Wada-accredited facility.

Meanwhile, banned Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova has criticised the commission’s recommendation that all Russian athletes should be banned from competition, stating that punishment should only be handed out to officials involved in doping.

The 37-year-old, who was excluded for life from all the world’s major marathons because of doping, but had a separate doping ban cut in August after agreeing to cooperate with the Wada investigation, told Russian daily Sport Express: “I just don’t understand this recommendation by Wada.

“The athletes are not connected to this at all. How is it possible to deprive young athletes, who are not to blame, of the right to compete at the Olympic Games?”

The runner said former Russian Athletics Federation head Valentin Balakhnichev and coach Alexei Melnikov should be the ones to face justice.

“We [the athletes] have worked hard for years. We’ve risked our health to win medals, while Balakhnichev and Melnikov profited from our hard work,” she added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the commission’s findings “rather groundless”, while sports minister Vitaly Mutko said Russia should not be singled out as the only country with a doping problem.

Source: (BBC)

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