Track And Field Authority To Decide Whether Russian Athletes Can Compete In Rio

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The Russian and the Olympic flags wave during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.i

The Russian and the Olympic flags wave during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Patrick Semansky/AP


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Patrick Semansky/AP

The Russian and the Olympic flags wave during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The Russian and the Olympic flags wave during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Track and field’s world governing body is set to decide whether Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in the upcoming summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The International Association of Athletics Federations is announcing the decision in a press conference expected to start shortly. You can watch it live here:

The IAAF said in November that it had provisionally suspended Russian athletes from world competitions amid a major doping scandal. As The Two-Way has reported, the suspension came after an independent commission found evidence of state-sponsored doping.

The report, which was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said that “top Russian athletes had been systematically using drugs to win medals, including in London at the Olympics in 2012,” as NPR’s Corey Flintoff reported.

The explosive report found what it calls a “deeply rooted culture of cheating.” It adds: “The investigation indicates that the acceptance of cheating at all levels is widespread and of long standing.”

The IAAF has released this timeline of major events in the suspension process and Russia’s attempts to fulfill the conditions for reinstatement.

To try to address the allegations, Russia has fired a number of top officials with the country’s anti-doping program.

But an update from WADA earlier this week said it was still encountering problems gathering samples from Russian athletes, including a significant number of missed tests. “Some more athletes who did take those tests failed them,” Corey adds. “Monitors even said they were intimidated by officials from the Russian security services.”

Corey tells our Newscast unit that “Russian officials and athletes have argued that clean athletes shouldn’t be punished for the actions of a few cheaters.”

On the other hand, he notes, “some elite athletes from other countries, including the U.S., have said that the real scandal here is that the Russian government allegedly ran a state-sponsored doping program and somebody should be held accountable.”

The International Olympic Committee is set to meet Monday in Switzerland and, according to Corey, “could potentially overturn any ban from this international athletic federation.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/17/482468037/watch-decision-on-whether-russian-track-athletes-can-compete-at-the-rio-olympics?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news

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