• Kyodo


Japan’s 2004 Athens Olympic hammer throw champion Koji Murofushi on Saturday welcomed the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decision to uphold its ban of Russia’s track and field team over allegations of doping.

The move prevents Russia’s athletes from competing in track and field events at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and Murofushi, who won the gold in Athens after Hungarian Adrian Annus was disqualified for a doping violation, insisted it was the right decision.

“From the point of view of athletes that are clean this is the right decision,” Murofushi said. “It is good that the Olympics can retain its dignity.”

IAAF president Sebastian Coe told reporters after a meeting of the IAAF Council on Friday that, “Although good progress has been made, the IAAF Council was unanimous that RusAF (Russian Athletics Federation) had not met the reinstatement conditions and that Russian athletes could not credibly return to international competition without undermining the confidence of their competitors and the public.

“As a result, RusAF has not been reinstated to membership of the IAAF at this stage,” Coe said.

The council, meanwhile, passed a rule amendment that if individual Russian athletes can clearly show they are not tainted by doping, they can apply to compete in international competitions as neutral athletes.

Hiroshi Yokogawa the head of the Japan Association of Athletics federations said, “There are still not enough anti-doping measurements in place on the Russian side. (The IAAF) had to report that the doping culture is deep-rooted.

“It is a deep-rooted problem. During the council session there was an argument that Russia has to show a deeper resolve to eradicate doping.”

Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said, “At the same time as being a very severe punishment, I feel it also serves as a warning to worldwide athletics federations and National Olympic Committees.”

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