The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has temporarily suspended the Russian Athletics Federation for an unspecified period over widespread allegations of doping and bribing officials to hide doping cases.

This decision was taken at today’s 201st IAAF Council Meeting that was held by teleconference and chaired from London by IAAF President Sebastian Coe. A total of 24 Members of Council participated in the meeting and 22 voted in favor of the sanction against the All-Russia Athletic Federation and 1 voted against with the Council Member from Russia not eligible to participate in the vote. The members of the IAAF Council, using powers under the IAAF Constitution Article 6.11(b) and Article 14.7, provisionally suspended ARAF on charges of breach of the Objects of the IAAF.

The provisional suspension means the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) delegates the conduct of all outstanding doping cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Russia will also not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Team Championships (Cheboksary) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan) and athletes & athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in International Competitions including World Athletics Series competitions and the Olympic Games.

However, provisional suspension does not prevent athletes in Russia from participating in domestic competitions and does not remove or waive the obligations on international level athletes in Russia to comply with the International Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, including continuing to be subject to out-of-competition testing.

A press release sent out by the IAAF revealed that the suspension comes into place with immediate effect and track and field teams of Russia will not be able to now take part in international competitions as the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) has been suspended.

Commenting on the decision, 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 added but we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world. The official IAAF statement reads we send a clear message to clean athletes in a dirty system to report any doping or cheating that they see or hear about.

Frankie Fredericks read a statement on behalf of the IAAF Athletes Commission that said the IAAF Athletes’ Commission is extremely disappointed and concerned regarding the recent developments and allegations directed at our sport. Fredericks remarked we are angry at the damage being caused to the reputation and credibility of athletics and are united alongside our President to not shy away from the major challenges that face our sport and also commented that the athletes will work together to continue the process of cleaning up athletics to ensure those athletes training and competing cleanly are not tainted by the minority.

Following the announcement, Russia’s Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko remarked the suspension is temporary and a special inspection team will look into the matter. Mutko added he believes we will manage to fix everything.

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