Russia have been suspended by the IAAF following claims in the WADA Indepedent Commission report of "state-supported" doping ©IAAF

Russia has been provisionally suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for its alleged involvement in widespread doping, meaning it could miss next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

The ruling IAAF Council voted 22-1 to ban the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) following allegations in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report that Russia was guilty of "state-supported" doping.

"The message could not be stronger," said Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF, as he left his offices in London where he had overseen a teleconference. 

"This is a wake-up call.

"It is entirely up to Russia to make changes."

The provisional suspension, under IAAF Constitution Article 6.11(b) and Article 14.7, means that Russian athletes may not compete in international competitions, including World Athletic Series competitions and the Olympic Games.

It also means Russia will not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Cup in Cheboksary and 2016 World Junior Championships in Kazan. 

The IAAF will announce later whether to cancel the two Championships or re-allocate them. 

IAAF President Sebastian Coe announced the decision to suspend Russia
IAAF President Sebastian Coe announced the decision to suspend Russia ©BBC

Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko revealed he is hopeful that the country can return to competition in time for Rio 2016. 

“The suspension is temporary," said Mutko.

"A special inspection team will look into the matter.

"I still believe we’ll manage to fix everything,"

An inspection team led by Rune Andersen, a Norwegian independent international anti-doping expert, and three members of the IAAF Council who will be appointed in the next few days, will oversee things in Russia and try to establish a map for the return of Russia. 

They clearly have much work to do, though, before they are welcomed back. 

"We are angry at the damage being caused to the reputation and credibility of athletics and are united alongside our President to not shy away from the major challenges that face our sport," said Frankie Fredericks, head of the IAAF's Athletes' Commission and a member of the Council. 

"The athletes will work together to continue the process of cleaning up athletics to ensure those athletes training and competing cleanly are not tainted by the minority.  

"We send a clear message to clean athletes in a dirty system to report any doping or cheating that they see or hear about. 

"We are 100 per cent in support of President Coe and believe that he is the leader that our sport needs to instigate the necessary actions swiftly and strongly."

Russian athletes could miss next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro following the country's suspension by the IAAF after claims of
Russian athletes could miss next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro following the country's suspension by the IAAF after claims of "state-supported" doping ©Getty Images

Coe claimed that everyone involved in athletics had to take responsibility to help rebuild the sport's reputation. 

"We discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world," he said.  

"We are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated.

"To this end, the IAAF, WADA, the Member Federations and athletes need to look closely at ourselves, our cultures and our processes to identify where failures exist and be tough in our determination to fix them and rebuild trust in our sport.

"There can be no more important focus for our sport.”

Coe also briefed the IAAF Council on his plans to reform the organisation. 

Paul Deighton, who worked alongside Coe at London 2012 as chief executive, has been appointed to oversee the programme which will be carried out  by professional services company Deloitte.

Forensic accountants from Deloitte and leading legal firm Freshfields began work at the IAAF headquarters yesterday, Coe revealed. 

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