Athletics Ireland wants Russia excluded from Rio 2016

Organisation backs Seb Coe to lead reforms after today's WADA report release

John Foley, Athletics Ireland

John Foley, CEO of Athletics Ireland ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Athletics Ireland has called for radical change within the IAAF after the release of the second part of a WADA-backed report into doping and corruption within the sport's governing body.

Athletics Ireland is backing new president Sebastian Coe to restore confidence in the world governing body, but has also called for Russia to be prevented from competing at Rio 2016 in the wake of the recent doping allegations against their athletes and coaches.

Earlier, the report by the Independent Commission revealed the level of corruption within the IAAF.

The investigators were particularly critical of former president, Lamine Diack, who it accuses of sanctioning and facilitating corruption, including the extortion of Russian athletes who had failed doping tests.

In a statement, Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley said: "The extent of the revelations around corruption in the IAAF is massively troubling for anyone involved in athletics. The IAAF must change, and must change radically, if the sport is to have any chance of recovering from the findings of WADA’s two reports.

Lamine Diack (left) and Seb Coe (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

"Irish athletes and coaches and the athletics community here deserves that the umbrella governing body uphold the highest standards and that clearly has not been the case in recent years as evidenced by the independent commission’s work.

"To achieve this, our sport needs the credibility of the governance structures of the IAAF to be restored and this can only happen through a comprehensive change programme which the IAAF must now embark on. The anti-doping system run by Sport Ireland is credible, comprehensive and stands up to the highest scrutiny, as are the majority of national federations programmes, but it’s important that any doubts around other countries testing procedures are thoroughly investigated. Equally for the image of the sport it is our view that it is too early for Russia to be considered to compete at the Olympics in Rio.”

"Athletics Ireland believes Sebastian Coe should be given time as President of the IAAF to make the changes that are clearly necessary and to do so in a visible, open and urgent manner.

"Sebastian Coe is a strong character and now needs to show that strength of character and deliver radical reform for our sport."