– Russian doping scandal: Lord Coe says progress is being made

March 2, 2017

Coe gave evidence to an MPs’ inquiry into corruption in sport in 2015

IAAF president Lord Coe says that the Russian authorities have “grasped the enormity of the challenge” as they tackle doping in the country.

The IAAF has banned Russian athletes from all competition in the wake of allegations of state-sponsored doping.

“The tough decision we made is starting to bear fruit,” he said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency says it has been “encouraged” by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s admission his country’s own system “didn’t work”.

While denying allegations of a state-sponsored programme of systematic cheating, Putin said his country should acknowledge its anti-doping failures.

Coe admitted that “there is a real possibility” of Russia being reinstated to international athletics, as expected, in November, after August’s World Championships in London.

Lord Coe tells Today that Russian athletes could be competing again ‘by the end of the year’

“The new federation is populated by people who I do genuinely think have grasped the enormity of this challenge,” Coe told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We should acknowledge the progress that is being made.

“We need to make sure that we continue to do everything we can to get clean Russian athletes back into the international fold.

“That was always the task once the federation had been suspended.”

The Wada-commissioned McLaren report claimed in December that more than 1,000 Russian athletes had benefited from state-backed cheating between 2001 and 2005.

That followed the suspension of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency by Wada after it was declared “non-compliant with immediate effect” in November.