Vladimir Putin’s Russian Olympic track teams still have too many track marks. The International Associations of Athletics Federation (IAAF), which oversees track and field, announced Friday that it has banned the men’s and women’s Russian and track and field teams from competing in the upcoming Rio Olympics for doping.
The decision extends a current ban which prohibits Russian track athletes from participating in international competition. The ban continues the fallout from a Russian Olympic doping scandal that dates back to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
A May, 2016 New York Times article detailed an elaborate state sponsored Russian doping program that was carried out during the Russian hosted 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The allegations against the Russians include systematically providing athletes performance enhancing drugs, and swapping out and destroying tainted urine samples.
The ban is especially significant because Russia won the second most track and field medals at the 2012 London Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (I.O.C) will make the final decision, but is not expected to reverse the IAAF.
The Russian Ministry of Sport released a statement expressing disappointment in the IAAF’s decision, and said the Rio games will be “diminished” without the presence of the Russian athletes.
Please see a statement from the Russian Ministry of Sport regarding the IAAF decision. pic.twitter.com/Mbtm5LayKY
— Natalia Zhelanova (@Zhelanova) June 17, 2016
The IAAF unanimously decided to uphold the ban on Russia’s track & field athletes from the Rio Olympics https://t.co/A29OHPgzqD
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 17, 2016