Doping: No change in Russian culture, says Wada’s Sir Craig Reedie

_90020259_sircraigreedieThere has been “no cultural change” in Russia since its athletes were banned from international competition last year, says World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie.

Athletics chiefs have decided not to lift the suspension, imposed after accusations of state-sponsored doping.

“This is a very strong message from the IAAF to other sports,” said Reedie. “Let’s hope they can live with it.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the ban was “unjust and unfair”.

Friday’s decision means Russian track and field athletes remain suspended from the Olympics, though individual athletes can compete as neutrals if they prove they are clean.

A taskforce studying reforms in the country acknowledged “significant progress” had been made but said the “deep-seated culture” of tolerance for doping “appears not to have changed”.

That followed a Wada report, issued on Wednesday, that said anti-doping officials in Russia were being stopped from testing athletes, and were also being threatened by security services.

Reedie, a former chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: “There is no cultural change yet in the Russian system.”

He added: “We are looking at the compliance of the Russian anti-doping agency, which covers all sports, not just athletics.”

Meanwhile, British javelin record holder Goldie Sayers says drug cheats stop clean athletes from “knowing how good you are”.

Sayers was fourth at the 2008 Olympics, but could yet be promoted as silver medallist Maria Abakumova tested positive in a re-test.

“The cheats are thieves,” Sayers told BBC Radio Five live.

She added: “If an athlete is going to be cheating they need to be tested in the winter months. I like to remain naive, otherwise you become quite bitter.”

BBC.CO.UK

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