NEW: "This has been a shameful wake-up call," IAAF president says
The international track and field group voted to provisionally suspend Russia
A report details widespread cheating among Russian athletes, coaches and lab officials
The International Association of Athletics Federations voted Friday to provisionally suspend Russia as a member amid a doping scandal, the IAAF reported on its website.
The action will keep the All-Russia Athletic Federation, the nation’s leading athletic association, out of international competition for an indefinite period that may include the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
“This has been a shameful wake-up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.
“Today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time,” Coe said. “But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world.”
The 24-1 vote was taken by teleconference. Russia was not allowed to vote
The action by IAAF, the international sports federation that rules over track and field, followed an explosive report that detailed widespread doping in Russian athletics. It said officials at all levels of sport were party to the cheating.
The report – commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and led by former WADA President and International Olympic Committee Vice President Dick Pound – detailed a “deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels” of Russian athletics. It implicated athletes, coaches, doctors, laboratory personnel and even the state itself.
Among the myriad allegations in the report, investigators said athletes were often given notice of out-of-competition tests, used false identities and frequently bribed doping control officers to get around other tests.
The report accused Russia’s state security service, the FSB, of using intimidation to influence the operations of a Moscow laboratory whose job it was to test samples for evidence of doping.
The head of that laboratory, Grigory Rodchenko, was identified in the report as an “aider and abettor of the doping activities.”
The investigators accused him of leading the destruction of more than 1,400 testing samples despite WADA pleas to preserve them.
The report’s authors blasted the IAAF itself, saying the investigation had revealed “corruption and bribery practices at the highest levels of international athletics, evidence of which has been transmitted to Interpol for appropriate investigation.”
French prosecutors charged former IAAF President Lamine Diack last week with taking bribes from Russian sports officials to conceal positive doping results, according to media reports. The former head of the agency’s anti-doping program, Gabriel Dollé, is also facing charges, The Guardian newspaper reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country will conduct its own investigation and will cooperate with sporting federations looking into the allegations, state news agency Sputnik News reported.
On Friday, Sputnik quoted Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko as acknowledging some doping problems in Russia, but saying that all Russian athletes shouldn’t be penalized. He had previously said Russia is prepared to follow WADA recommendations, the news agency reported.
But International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said he didn’t think Russia would be suspended from the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“I think also that Russia will cooperate to make progress and to be sure that Russian athletics are compliant with WADA,” he said this week. “This is what it needs to be in order to participate in the Olympic Games.”
CNN’s Chris Murphy, Chris Borg and Tom McGowan contributed to this report.