We'll reform in time for Rio Olympics: Russia

Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:40pm EST
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By Jack Stubbs

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has set out a three-month road map to clean up its act, with the nation's Olympic Committee spearheading efforts to ensure a doping scandal does not prevent honest athletes from competing at the 2016 Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) voted overwhelmingly on Friday to suspend the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) following allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping.

The allegations, made by a special commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), have caused the country's biggest sporting scandal in several decades and could cost it a place at next year's Olympics in Rio.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Saturday he had agreed a road map with IAAF head Sebastian Coe and that his nation would soon be compliant with the association's rules.

"In three months we will once again go to the international federation to present ourselves as compliant with its standards," Mutko told Russian television. "We hope our team will be reinstated."

Russia's Olympic Committee said in a statement it would take charge of a program to reform the ARAF and Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), working with WADA and the IAAF.

"The Russian Olympic Committee is firmly convinced that honest athletes must participate in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro," said committee head Alexander Zhukov.

"At the same time everyone who was involved in the use of illicit drugs, and contributed to it, should take full responsibility."   Continued...

Alexander Zhukov, head of the 2022 Evaluation Commission for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), speaks to media after their inspection tour of Beijing and Zhangjiakou, candidates to co-host the 2022 Winter Games, in Beijing, March 28, 2015. REUTERS/China Daily