EUROPEAN Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen has said that he doubts the Russian athletic team will participate in the Rio 2016 Olympics following the damaging doping allegations that have dominated the year’s sporting headlines.
The Russian athletics federation has been officially banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which will visit Russia in January to inspect progress and report back as to whether the necessary changes have been made.
“For the moment they have to fulfil the conditions, but I cannot really see them competing in Rio,” Hansen said. “They must have a cultural change,” he continued, “They must get rid of all those people from before.”
In November this year, Russia became the first country to be banned from international competition over damaging revelations by the World Anti-Doping Agency of high-level cover-ups of systematic doping.
The scandal has had far-reaching implications beyond the Russian team with former IAAF president Lamine Diack resigning over allegations he took millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for covering up the Russian doping tests for as long as possible.
Even current president Sebastian Coe has been caught in the fray with his chief assistant also implicated in the corrupt affairs of international athletics.