Russian track and field athletes should not be allowed to run in Rio, says UK Athletics chief

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Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics, told a parliamentary committee in London on Tuesday that he does not think Russian track and field athletes should be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics. Last November the IAAF imposed a ban on Russian athletes following widespread drug revelations

Russian track and field athletes should not be allowed to run in Rio, says UK Athletics chief

SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JANUARY 26, 2016) (UK PARLIAMENT TV – ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS, SAYING:

“Marita Koch, who holds the women’s 400-metre world record, in 1985, today’s athletes can’t get within a second and a half of her, which in 400-metre terms, is 15 metres normally. And Stasi papers that subsequently were released, show that she probably, or was probably, using steroids. So today, there’s very little incentive for female 400-metre runners to break the world record, because it is 15 metres away from them. So what we’d like to do is, again, have a debate, about ways in which iniquitous records can be expunged, and/or event regulations can be changed or tweaked such that you can start some of these again.”

2. VIEW OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE INTERVIEWING ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS, SAYING:

“The world championships coming to London next year, in the Olympic Stadium, we would love those to be the first championships in a new era. That’s very ambitious, but there are things that could be done for London that would give the public more confidence. We want to see the IAAF engaging with us, we’re organising these championships – so I’m the chair of them – to put in place some of these measures that you can turn up at the Olympic Stadium and really believe what you are watching.”

4. VIEW OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE INTERVIEWING ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS, SAYING:

“I’ve had a number of discussions since that programme, and they have told me the 2017 and 2019 bids by Qatar – Doha – , have now been referred directly to the commission. And I’m delighted at that and so my next conversation is going to be with that ethics commission to lay out all I heard.”

6. VIEW OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE INTERVIEWING ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS, SAYING:

“It’s abundantly clear there was systemic cheating which went a very long way up the political ladder in that nation, but RUSADA, the anti-doping agency, was domestically controlled. Had it from the outset been controlled by WADA, and had WADA had the resources to exert that control, we may not be where we are now, and where we are now is a very ugly place.”

8. WHITE FLASH

9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ED WARNER, CHAIRMAN, UK ATHLETICS, SAYING:

“To pre-empt the question you might ask me, do I think they should be back in time for Rio? No I don’t, not at all.”

STORY: Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics, said that current world records set before doping testing commonly took place should be removed from the record books.

“Marita Koch, who holds the women’s 400-metre world record, in 1985, today’s athletes can’t get within a second and a half of her, which in 400-metre terms, is 15 metres normally. And Stasi papers that subsequently were released, show that she probably, or was probably, using steroids. So today, there’s very little incentive for female 400-metre runners to break the world record, because it is 15 metres away from them. So what we’d like to do is, again, have a debate, about ways in which iniquitous records can be expunged, and/or event regulations can be changed or tweaked such that you can start some of these again,” Warner told a UK Parliamentary Committee in London on Tuesday (January 26). Koch’s record of 47.60 seconds is a remarkable 1.66 seconds faster than American Allyson Felix’s winning time at the 2015 world championships.

London will be hosting the 2017 athletics world championships and Warner would like to see his ideas implemented by the IAAF by that time.

“The world championships coming to London next year, in the Olympic Stadium, we would love those to be the first championships in a new era. That’s very ambitious, but there are things that could be done for London that would give the public more confidence. We want to see the IAAF engaging with us, we’re organising these championships – so I’m the chair of them – to put in place some of these measures that you can turn up at the Olympic Stadium and really believe what you are watching,” said Warner.

Warner also said that Doha’s bid to host the 2017 and 2019 world championships had been referred to the IAAF ethics commission. Warner had said on a recent BBC interview that “brown envelopes” were allegedly handed to members of the IAAF council ahead of the vote. London were awarded the 2017 championships ahead of Doha, while Doha defeated bids from Eugene and Barcelona for 2019.

Warner would not disclose his source of the information he had received concerning the allegations, but said that he would would be talking to the IAAF ethics commission.

“I’ve had a number of discussions since that programme, and they have told me the 2017 and 2019 bids by Qatar – Doha – , have now been referred directly to the commission. And I’m delighted at that and so my next conversation is going to be with that ethics commission to lay out all I heard,” said Warner.

Warner was asked about Russia’s track and field athletes being suspended from all competitions including this year’s indoor world championships and the Rio Olympics following widespread doping revelations. Warner felt that if the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had been able to have control rather than the discredited Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), the problem may have been lessened but he was clear that the ban should remain in place for the Rio Games.

“It’s abundantly clear there was systemic cheating which went a very long way up the political ladder in that nation, but RUSADA, the anti-doping agency, was domestically controlled. Had it from the outset been controlled by WADA, and had WADA had the resources to exert that control, we may not be where we are now, and where we are now is a very ugly place,” he said.

“To pre-empt the question you might ask me, do I think they should be back in time for Rio? No I don’t, not at all.”

Tags : chief, athletics, says, Rio, Allowed, should, Athletes, Field, track, russian

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