Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Athletes Have to Be Confident the Same Won't Happen Again

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Athletes Have to Be Confident the Same Won't Happen Again

Article excerpt

Byline: Seb Coe President of the IAAF

I HAVE been more than a little perplexed over the last few days reading, watching and listening to the commentary on the WADA decision on reinstating the Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA.

At times, I've even wondered if I'm living in a parallel universe. The common claim has been that WADA's decision to reinstate RUSADA will allow Russian athletes to return to international sport.

This is simply not true. Russian athletes have never stopped competing in pretty much all sports, albeit as neutral athletes in my own sport.

To make this the overriding issue, when it is blatantly nonsense, misses the core point about the decision made yesterday. The reinstatement of RUSADA puts Russia back in charge of testing its athletes. Is it ready for that? Will the world's athletes trust that a system that was so appallingly manipulated is safe and secure now? These are questions that WADA and RUSADA need to answer and, to be fair, the world body did address this yesterday.

I'm not passing judgment on the WADA decision. It is for them to make, as our decision at the IAAF will be ours to make. What I am saying is that the hard work starts now to convince athletes the system in place is significantly different and safe from manipulation and interference. That will take time.

I know athletes fundamentally do not want to exclude clean Russian athletes from competing, under their flag or otherwise, but they want to know they've come through a clean and trusted system.

This is what many athletes are having a hard time to reconcile. Yes, there are, sadly, sportsmen and women from other countries that have been caught cheating, but the sheer scale of the Russian doping cover-up shocked everyone, particularly the athletes.

How could a system that was established to protect athletes have been so totally compromised that for years Russian athletes were either doping or being doped and their anti-doping agency was either plying them with drugs or covering up the results? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.