Russia suspended by IAAF

Russia has been suspended from all athletics competitions following revelations of widespread, state-sponsored doping, less than a year before the 2016 Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) voted 22-1 in favour of banning Russia after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent report recommended such a course of action in the wake of their investigation into doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics.

“We have been dealing with the failure of [the All Russia Athletic Federation] and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time,” said IAAF chief Sebastian Coe.

“This has been a shameful wake up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated.

“To this end, the IAAF, WADA, the member federations and athletes need to look closely at ourselves, our cultures and our processes to identify where failures exist and be tough in our determination to fix them and rebuild trust in our sport. There can be no more important focus for our sport."

Speaking ahead of the vote, Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko had said that collective punishments were “very unfair”.

The ban comes into effect immediately and leaves some doubt over whether Russia's athletes will be able to take part in next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.