(Reuters) - A doping ban that keeps all Russian athletes from taking part in international competition will remain in place, the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations said at a press conference in Vienna on Friday. Following are reactions from athletes and athletic organisations to the IAAF decision, which casts doubt on whether Russian athletes will compete in the Rio Olympics.
“Some progress has been made, but not enough. The decision was unanimous - politics did not play a part in that room today.” -IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
“The IOC has taken note of the decision of the IAAF Council. The IOC Executive Board will discuss the appropriate next steps in a telephone conference tomorrow.” - Statement from International Olympic Committee.
“Today’s ruling is a step in the right direction. It gives a measure of hope to clean athletes that there are consequences not only for athletes who dope, but for countries which do not engage seriously in the fight against doping. That is a much needed message.” - Statement from United States Olympic Committee Chief Executive Scott Blackmun
“The #IOC must be strong in the clean sport stance as IAAF. They should back clean athletes not a doping culture with an easy let in clause.” - Tweet from Kelly Sotherton, British heptathlete, Olympic bronze medal winner.
EUROPEAN ATHLETICS: DECISION IS “CLEAREST POSSIBLE SIGNAL”
“The integrity of athletics and the protection of the right of athletes to fair competition untainted by doping are of the highest priority. Our unanimous decision, taken in an atmosphere of extreme pressure, is the clearest possible signal of the IAAF’s commitment to the values of our sport.
“... It would also be unfair to allow the impression that doping is a problem confined to Russia or to athletics. I must emphasise that this is a challenge to all sports in every country.” - Statement from European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.
RUSSIAN ATHLETICS FEDERATION: “EMOTIONS WERE PRESENT”
“The pressure which we experienced in the last few days ahead of the council meeting, when every day we had some kind of interview or publications, which as a rule had negative connotations, doubtlessly influenced (the IAAF decision). And I say this with great regret. Without such unprecedented pressure, I think the decision would have been reached in a more balanced, more professional manner. Emotions, it goes without saying, were present.” - Mikhailr Butov, general secretary, All Russian Athletics Federation, quoted by R-Sport.
RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF SPORT IS “EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED”
“We are extremely disappointed by the IAAF’s decision to uphold the ban on all of our track and field athletes, creating the unprecedented situation of a whole nation’s track and field athletes being banned from the Olympics. Clean athletes’ dreams are being destroyed because of the reprehensible behaviour of other athletes and officials. They have sacrificed years of their lives striving to compete at the Olympics and now that sacrifice looks likely to be wasted ...
“We now appeal to the members of the International Olympic Committee to not only consider the impact that our athletes’ exclusion will have on their dreams and the people of Russia, but also that the Olympics themselves will be diminished by their absence. The Games are supposed to be a source of unity, and we hope that they remain as a way of bringing people together.” - Statement from ministry.
“I am sick of Russians whining about shattered dreams, opportunities lost etc. Russians have been stealing clean athletes’ dreams for years.” - Tweet from Mara Yamauchi, British long-distance runner.
“We applaud the @iaaforg actions today. We implore @iocmedia/@Olympics to do their part & protect #CleanSport.” - Tweet from Athetics Canada.
INDIVIDUAL ATHLETES’ CASES MAY BE ASSESSED, IAAF HEAD SAYS
It is possible that “athletes who are not tested under the Russian system but in systems that have effective anti-doping programmes will have their individual cases assessed”. -IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
“It is a violation of human rights. I will not be quiet, I will take steps. I will go to the human rights court. I will prove to the IAAF and World Anti-Doping Agency that they made the wrong decision. I will show, so that they understand: Russia will not be silent.” - Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian pole vaulter, two-time Olympic gold medal winner, quoted by Russian news agency TASS.
“OLYMPICS AN HONOUR, NOT A RIGHT”: PAULA RADCLIFFE
“It is not a basic human right to take part in sport on the Olympic stage. It is an honour and a privilege and if that privilege is abused then you shouldn’t be invited to the party.” Tweet from world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe
“The continued suspension of the Russian federation came after a thorough and fair process. It is the only proper course of action given the compelling and powerful evidence presented to Council. We do not believe that every Russian athlete cheated, and it is unfortunate and regrettable that some may pay a penalty for the serious transgressions of their federation.” - Statement from USA Track & Field President Stephanie Hightower.
The wholesale ban on Russian athletes rather than individuals is unfair and “does not fit into any framework of civilised behaviour”, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in St Petersburg.
“We’ll talk to our colleagues at the anti-doping body, and I hope there’ll be an appropriate response from the International Olympic Committee,” he said.
RUSSIA “DESTROYED CLEAN ATHLETES’ DREAMS:” LYNSEY SHARP
“And your country has destroyed `clean athletes’ dreams’ for decades. Not a nice feeling is it?” - Tweet from Lynsey Sharp, British runner, 2012 Olympic athlete.
“It was the only acceptable outcome. And it happened because clean athletes stood up, came together and demanded that their voices be heard.” - U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart
“We recognise that this decision is only one step in the process of ensuring that the Rio Olympic Games will have a level playing field. But, we are heartened to see that the facts presented by WADA and the IAAF task force have been considered thoroughly, and the evidence has lead the IAAF to make decisions based on integrity -maintaining clean sport as a central policy.” Statement by Claudia Bokel, chair of the IOC Athlete Commission, and Beckie Scott, chair of WADA Athlete Committee
IAAF PRESIDENT SEBASTIAN COE ON WHISTLE-BLOWER YULIA STEPANOVA:
“I cannot say she will compete in Rio, but the council said they will look favourably on her, and there is a rule change today to allow it.”
UK ATHLETICS: “MUST KNOW MORE” ABOUT INDIVIDUAL EXCEPTIONS
“As one of very few truly global sports, we look forward to a time that Russia can return to competition. Once a robust anti-doping structure is in place, its athletes will be welcome once again.
“With regard to the IAAF’s rule change which raises the possibility of some individual Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag in Rio, it must ensure the conditions for them to qualify are stringent enough so that absolutely no cheats slip through the net. We would wish to know much more about these conditions before being able to welcome individual athlete invitations.” - Statement from Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics.
“The IAAF Council, on the advice of the IAAF Taskforce led by Rune Andersen, has made the right decision to help ensure that there is a level playing field for all athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We commend the IAAF for this strong stance against doping in sport.”Athletics Australia statement
“Sad day for Russian ATHLETES. The people in charge, guiding Russian Athletics should be the ones punished- they created the culture of dope.” - Tweet from Trey Hardee, American decathlon athlete.
“Never dreamed I’d be saying “way to go IAAF” I’m hoping this is just the start. Here’s2the start of clean athletes getting just deserts.” - Tweet from Daley Thompson, British decathlete, two-time Olympic gold winner.
Compiled by Larry King/Gene Cherry; Editing by Kevin Liffey/Peter Rutherford