Following an independent report by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), detailing a state-sponsored doping program, Russian athletes could be banned from the 2016 Olympics.
The report by WADA which was carried out by the organization’s former president, Dick Pound, uncovered a deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels within Russian athletics.
The report which implicated the International Association of Athletics federation (IAAF) accused the Russian Federation of running a State-supported doping program.
It even suggests the London 2012 Olympics, in which Russia won 24 gold medals, were in a sense, sabotaged by the admission of athletes with suspicious doping profiles.
The report also criticised the Russian Federation for intentionally destroying more than 1,400 samples even after a WADA plea to preserve them.
WADA therefore recommended that five athletes and five coaches, all from Russia, be banned for life.
The IAAF swiftly released a statement by its president Lord Seb Coe, saying it has given the Russian athletics federation (ARAF) till Thursday to respond to the allegations.
Coe also said that the IAAF is looking at a range of options, and has taken the urgent step of seeking approval from his organization’s council members to issue sanctions on Russia.
“We need time to properly digest and understand the detailed findings included in the report. However, I have urged the Council to start the process of considering sanctions against All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF).
“This step has not been taken lightly. Our athletes, partners and fans have my total assurance that where there are failures in our governance or our anti-doping programmes we will fix them.
“We will do whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport. The IAAF will continue to offer the police authorities our full cooperation into their ongoing investigation,” Coe said.
He said the IAAF’s council would then meet on Friday to review Russia’s response and would discuss the potentiality of sanctions against Russian athletes.