Warner calls for swift IAAF action


Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner has urged world governing body the IAAF to act “swiftly and openly” with the allegations of systematic doping and corruption in Russian sport.

On Wednesday evening a Germany television documentary presented what it claimed was evidence of widespread drugs use.

The documentary also contended that the corruption extends beyond Russia and implicated the IAAF in covering up the abuse – “grave allegations” the independent ethics commission of international athletics’ governing body is already investigating.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has vowed to fully investigate the allegations and the head of UK Athletics has called for decisive action.

“We don’t need this in a year’s time, we need this in a matter of weeks’ time,” Warner told the Guardian.

“We don’t want to go into the 2015 athletics season with suspicion hanging over Russian athletes.

“We can’t be going into a European indoor championships in Prague in March with people looking at what they are watching and wondering if they can believe it.

“The allegations that have been aired are clearly extremely serious and it’s vital the IAAF doesn’t pay lip service to any investigation and is seen to thoroughly scrutinise what has or has not gone on here swiftly and openly.

“Any conclusion it reaches must be published for all to see and any action that is taken must be sufficiently punitive to make sure there is not only punishment but also deterrent.

“The risk is that this takes too long and is conducted too discretely and there is no sense that the IAAF is taking this seriously enough. If that is the case the integrity of the sport is called into question.”

Russia has a long, rich association with athletics and the capital Moscow last year hosted the World Championships.

Dai Greene competed in the 400 metres hurdles at the Luzhniki Stadium and did not seem at all shocked by the latest developments.

“This is no surprise to any athletes,” he posted on his Twitter account, @DaiGreene. “We know when we see suspect performances. Is enough being done to stop it?

“There are other athletes who have never been caught who are blatantly cheating. Athletes know who they are.”

The 2011 world champion’s comments echoed those made by Andy Turner, the former European and Commonwealth sprint hurdles champion.

“All this drama about the Russian doping scandal… Didn’t come as a surprise to most athletes,” Turner tweeted.

British athlete Jenny Meadows has been directly affected by such issues, having been promoted to 2011 European indoor 800 metres gold after Russian race winner Yevgeniya Zinurova was found guilty of a doping offence.

“If this is true, I think this would be the biggest doping scandal of all time,” she told the BBC.

“It has been alleged that up to 99 per cent of Russians could be on this systematic doping procedure, which is alarming.

“I don’t know whether it is 99 per cent but we’re thinking it is a huge percentage of Russian athletes.”

Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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