Russia 'unlikely' to return by Rio Olympics

Dec 30, 2015, 7:07 AM EST
Source: Egor Fedorov/flickr
Source: Egor Fedorov/flickr

Russia is unlikely to return to international competition in time for next year's Rio Olympics, says European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen, writes the BBC.

Russia's athletics federation was banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations for alleged involvement in widespread doping. An IAAF inspection committee is due to visit Russia in January.

"For the moment they have to fulfil the conditions, but I cannot really see them competing in Rio," Hansen said. The committee is likely to report back to the IAAF Council at the earliest at its meeting in Cardiff, Wales, on 27 March, less than five months before the Olympics.

"They must have a cultural change," Hansen told Athletics Weekly magazine. "They must get rid of all those people from before.

"We know some good people in Russian athletics and I'm sure they will be elected. We hope that some new people will come in who really understand that this must be changed."

The IAAF voted to suspend Russia's federation (Araf) on 13 November after the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report that alleged "state-sponsored doping".