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Reaction to IAAF's ban of Russian athletes

Reuters , Friday 17 Jun 2016
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A doping ban that keeps all Russian athletes from taking part in international competition will remain in place, the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations said at a press conference in Vienna on Friday. Following are reactions from athletes and athletic organizations to the IAAF decision, which casts doubt on whether Russia will compete in the Rio Olympics.

DECISION WAS UNANIMOUS, IAAF HEAD SAYS

"Some progress has been made, but not enough. The decision was unanimous - politics did not play a part in that room today." -IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

IOC "TAKEN NOTE OF DECISION"

"The IOC has taken note of the decision of the IAAF Council. The IOC Executive Board will discuss the appropriate next steps in a telephone conference tomorrow." - Statement from International Olympic Committee.

USOC: "STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION"

"Today's ruling is a step in the right direction. It gives a measure of hope to clean athletes that there are consequences not only for athletes who dope, but for countries which do not engage seriously in the fight against doping. That is a much needed message." - Statement from United States Olympic Committee Chief Executive Scott Blackmun

KELLY SOTHERTON: IOC "MUST BE STRONG"

"The #IOC must be strong in the clean sport stance as IAAF. They should back clean athletes not a doping culture with an easy let in clause." - Tweet from Kelly Sotherton, British heptathlete, Olympic bronze metal winner.

EUROPEAN ATHLETICS: DECISION IS "CLEAREST POSSIBLE SIGNAL"

"The integrity of athletics and the protection of the right of athletes to fair competition untainted by doping are of the highest priority. Our unanimous decision, taken in an atmosphere of extreme pressure, is the clearest possible signal of the IAAF’s commitment to the values of our sport.

"... It would also be unfair to allow the impression that doping is a problem confined to Russia or to athletics. I must emphasize that this is a challenge to all sports in every country." - Statement from European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.

RUSSIAN ATHLETICS FEDERATION: "EMOTIONS WERE PRESENT"

"The pressure which we experienced in the last few days ahead of the council meeting, when every day we had some kind of interview or publications, which as a rule had negative connotations, doubtlessly influenced (the IAAF decision). And I say this with great regret. Without such unprecedented pressure, I think the decision would have been reached in a more balanced, more professional manner. Emotions, it goes without saying, were present.” - Mikhailr Butov, general secretary, All Russian Athletics Federation, quoted by R-Sport.

RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF SPORT IS "EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED"

"We are extremely disappointed by the IAAF’s decision to uphold the ban on all of our track and field athletes, creating the unprecedented situation of a whole nation’s track and field athletes being banned from the Olympics. Clean athletes’ dreams are being destroyed because of the reprehensible behavior of other athletes and officials. They have sacrificed years of their lives striving to compete at the Olympics and now that sacrifice looks likely to be wasted ...

"We now appeal to the members of the International Olympic Committee to not only consider the impact that our athletes’ exclusion will have on their dreams and the people of Russia, but also that the Olympics themselves will be diminished by their absence. The Games are supposed to be a source of unity, and we hope that they remain as a way of bringing people together." - Statement from ministry.

IOC "SHOULD DO THEIR PART": ATHLETICS CANADA

"We applaud the @iaaforg actions today. We implore @iocmedia/@Olympics to do their part & protect #CleanSport." - Tweet from Athetics Canada.

INDIVIDUAL ATHLETES' CASES MAY BE ASSESSED, IAAF HEAD SAYS

It is possible that "athletes who are not tested under the Russian system but in systems that have effective anti-doping programs will have their individual cases assessed". -IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

"VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS": YELENA ISINBAYEVA

"It is a violation of human rights. I will not be quiet, I will take steps. I will go to the human rights court. I will prove to the IAAF and World Anti-Doping Agency that they made the wrong decision. I will show, so that they understand: Russia will not be silent." - Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian pole vaulter, two-time Olympic gold medal winner, quoted by Russian news agency TASS.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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