Open Letter to IAAF President Sebastien Coe
Athletics Canada – On Friday June 17, the IAAF Council will make a transformative decision for our global athletics community when the Council meets to decide whether the Russian Athletics Federation will be reinstated to allow participation in the Rio Games. While we acknowledge some modest progress has been made in Russia, Athletics Canada feels strongly there is little evidence of a reversal in a systematic and deep rooted doping culture in Russian Athletics, and therefore there is no justification to grant re-inclusion.
We have a fundamental obligation at the IAAF and at Athletics Canada to ensure our athletes know, when they line up in Rio, that they and their competitors are competing on equal terms. Much remains to do in our sport to address the scourge of doping. We are heartened by the leadership you have shown in this area and the prominent role Canadians such as Dick Pound, Richard McLaren and Becky Scott are playing to drive meaningful change. Keeping Russia’s ban will underscore our firm resolve to protect the interests of clean athletes everywhere.
We empathize with Russia’s clean athletes who achieve their dreams through clean hard work. Unfortunately, their federation has failed them and the ongoing recent revelations of non-compliance, lack of cooperation and widespread individual doping violations from previous Olympics cause one to be sceptical about any Russian performances. We encourage the IAAF to err on the side of caution to protect the integrity of our sport and the Olympic movement.
The beauty of our sport is the simple, pure nature of running, jumping walking and throwing. The world is watching; now is the time to send a clear message to athletes, coaches, administrators and fans everywhere that athletics is stepping up to the responsibilities associated with that brand promise.
Chief Executive Officer, Athletics Canada
Cc: Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee
Abby Hoffman, IAAF Council Member