Russians should miss Rio, British runner says

Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:05pm EDT
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By Gene Cherry

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Russian athletes will be missing when the IAAF world indoor championships get underway on Thursday and their global ban for doping should stay in place for the Rio Olympics, British athlete Lynsey Sharp said on Wednesday.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) voted overwhelmingly in November to suspend Russia from the sport for widespread, state-sponsored doping.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday he hoped the Russian Athletics Federation would be reinstated by the sport's governing body in May, allowing their athletes to compete at August's Olympics.

"I don't think they have demonstrated that they have the system in place," European 800 metres medalist Sharp told Reuters in an interview on the eve of the indoor championships.

"It is hard for us (athletes) to be able to see how they should be able to compete against us with what's is going on."

Sharp, whose 2012 European silver medal was upgraded to gold after Russian Yelena Arzhakova was suspended for doping, said she hoped the Russian ban would help lead to a cleaner sport.

"The most disappointing thing is that we are now four years on from (the) London (Olympics) and we are still hearing about individuals who are being caught," she said.

"The four-year delay is probably the most upsetting thing," she added. "Four years to catch someone. How much have they earned since London? It has just messed up the whole sport."   Continued...

Lynsey Sharp of Britain reacts after competing in the women's 800 metres semifinals during the European Athletics Championships at the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich August 14, 2014. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann