Athletics Athletics

IAAF should be ‘dissolved’, says Russia’s sports minister

The 27-member IAAF Council is headed by president Sebastian Coe. PHOTO/AFP.
The 27-member IAAF Council is headed by president Sebastian Coe. PHOTO/AFP.

MOSCOW, Russian Federation, June 19- Outspoken Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the IAAF should be “dissolved” and accused athletics’ governing body of failing to take “responsibility” for doping that is roiling the sport.

Mutko was speaking two days after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) opted to extend a ban on Russian track and field athletes that means most will not compete at August’s Rio Olympics.

“By projecting all responsibility onto the Russian Athletics Federation, they have disabused themselves of all responsibility,” Mutko told R-Sport news agency on Sunday, a day after seeming to accept that Russian athletes would miss the Olympics.

On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee praised the IAAF for taking a “strong stance against doping”.

“It’s (the IAAF) which should be totally dissolved if its president is the object of a criminal investigation,” added Mutko, referring to rumours IAAF president Sebastian Coe will be called before British lawmakers over claims he acted improperly.

“He is accused of having received a bribe and of having concealed athletes’ (doping) samples,” Mutko alleged.

Coe is not the subject of a criminal investigation, nor has he been accused of taking a bribe or hiding doping samples.

A BBC documentary accused Coe of enlisting the help of the fugitive son of his disgraced IAAF predecessor, Lamine Diack, to secure his election to the top athletics post last year.

The Panorama documentary claimed to have seen text messages that implied Papa Missata Diack had obtained African votes to help Coe defeat Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergey Bubka in the election.

On Saturday, Mutko suggested Russia may fight its IAAF ban, despite saying members of the track and field team had “no chance” of competing in Rio.

But Dick Pound, founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said on Sunday that it was “not impossible” that the entire Russian Olympic team be barred from Rio.