Russia could be banned from the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, accused the country’s officials of covering up performance-enhancing drug use by its track-and-field athletes.
The independent group WADA asked to investigate doping in Russia said even the country’s intelligence service was involved: The FSB reportedly spied on Moscow’s anti-doping lab, including during last year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The commission recommended that WADA immediately declare the Russian athletics federation “non-compliant” with the global rules against doping and that the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF, suspend the country from competition. The IAAF said it will consider punishing Russia, including possibly suspending the country’s athletics federation. That move would ban Russian track-and-field athletes from competing internationally, such as at the Olympics.
Dick Pound, the commission’s chairman, said there may be time for Russia to clean up its act before Rio.
But he also said there may still be time for Russia to avoid that, if it starts reforming immediately — work that will take at least “several months.”
“I think they can do it. I hope they can,” Pound said.
IAAF has given Russia until Friday to respond to the charges.