Thursday 29 September 2016

European Athletics president 'cannot see' Russia competing at Rio 2016

Published 30/12/2015 | 07:51

The Olympic flag flies next to the Russian flag
The Olympic flag flies next to the Russian flag

European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen does not expect Russia to return to international competition in time to take part in next year's Rio Olympics.

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Russia's athletics federation has been banned by the IAAF following allegations of widespread doping, and must meet a series of conditions before being readmitted.

However, Hansen does not believe there is enough time for Russia to complete the process before the Olympic Games begin in August.

"For the moment they have to fulfil the conditions, but I cannot really see them competing in Rio," Hansen said in Athletics Weekly magazine.

"They must have a cultural change. They must get rid of all those people from before.

"We know some good people in Russian athletics and I'm sure they will be elected. We hope that some new people will come in who really understand that this must be changed."

An IAAF inspection team is due to visit Russia in January, and could then report back to the IAAF Council at its next meeting on March 27.

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