Russian athletes’ chances of being reinstated ahead of this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro remain bleak because they are not “devoting all the time and energy needed” to get their ban lifted, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission Richard Pound warned here today.
The Canadian, the most senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), also claimed constant rebuttals from Russian politicians like Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko about the WADA Independent Commission reports are not helping the situation.
The publishing of the first WADA Independent Commission report last November led to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspending the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) following allegations of state-supported doping.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was also declared non-compliant by WADA following the reports.
If the ban is not lifted, their athletes will not be able to compete at Rio 2016.
Pound, a Canadian lawyer, claimed not enough is being done by Russian officials for the IAAF to consider allowing them to return for the Games when they meet in Monte Carlo on Thursday and Friday (March 10 and 11) to discuss the situation.
It follows the screening of the third doping documentary from German broadcasters WDR/ARD, which alleged Russian athletes and coaches were ignoring the ban.
The programme by journalists Hajo Seppelt and Florian Riesewieck also uncovered accusations that a member of RUSADA giving athletes advanced notice of when they were due to be tested.
WADA said in a statement that they were “dismayed” by the claims made in the programme.
"They haven’t got to the point where they can credibly say they are fully addressing the problem,” Pound said during the Tackling Doping in Sport Conference here.
“I don’t think they are devoting all the time and energy needed [to get back].
“These political statements are only getting in the way of them securing compliance.
"There seems to be some evidence that they’re just changing deckchairs on the Titanic.
"The Russians seem to assume that the controversy will disappear and there should be no question regarding their participation in Rio.
“My guess is Russia may not make it back for Rio .
“The IAAF and WADA are not going to risk reputations further by rolling over and playing dead.
“It is a considerable hurdle - if organisations aren’t satisfied clean athletes are protected, Russia will not be in Rio.”
Pound also hinted that Independent Commission investigations may target Kenya and Ethiopia, two countries widely accused of widespread doping, adding "a lot of these countries are ripe for investigation."
Russia have continually denied the allegations levelled at them, which increased on Monday (March 7) when five-times Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova admitted she had failed a drugs test at the Australian Open in January.
The 28-year-old tested positive for meldonium, a heart attack drug only added to the WADA banned list on January 1.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed today cases such as Sharapova’s should not be a reflection of Russian sport, insisting they are “individual athletes and individual situations”.
He added: “We continue to insist that sports should always remain outside politics and that attempts of politicising sports, attempts to use sports as some sort of a political instrument to reach one or another goal is destructive for sports, international sports.
“It is unacceptable and unjustifiable.”
The head of the Sports Committee of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament today confirmed that they will hold a meeting on the doping scandal currently engulfing the country tomorrow.
“We will hold consults, will look at the documents that will open all the facts to us and examine them carefully,” Dmitry Svishchev told R-Sport.