Ennis-Hill doubt over Russian athletes

Jessica Ennis-Hill

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Jessica Ennis-Hill wants ‘drastic action’ taken against Russia

Jessica Ennis-Hill says she would still have doubts about Russian athletes at the 2016 Olympics even if the country convinces athletics organisations it should be allowed to compete in Rio.

Russia is banned from athletics after accusations of widespread doping.

Olympic and world heptathlon champion Ennis-Hill wants “drastic measures” in place if Russia is cleared to compete.

But she added: “I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t look at Russian athletes and think ‘is everything 100% OK?'”

Why was Russia banned?

IAAF members voted 22-1 to ban Russia after the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report that alleged “state-sponsored doping”.

The Wada commission, led by chairman Dick Pound, suggested Russian athletics federation Araf, Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) and Russia itself could not be considered anti-doping code-compliant, because of what it claimed was widespread cheating.

The report claimed to have evidence of “direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state with the Moscow laboratory operations”, while Rusada gave athletes advance notice of tests, hid missed tests, bullied doping control officers and their families and took bribes to cover up missed tests, it said.

According to the commission’s findings, London 2012 was “sabotaged” by “widespread inaction” against athletes with suspicious doping profiles.

More to follow.

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