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IOC's Coates expects IAAF to retain Russia ban

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games John Coates speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games John Coates speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates has branded Russia's anti-doping agency and athletics body as "rotten to the core" and believes the country's athletes will remain banned from competing at international events.

Russia was suspended from all track and field by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in November after an independent report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revealed widespread state-sponsored doping.

The Council of the IAAF will vote in Vienna later on Friday to decide whether to lift the ban and allow Russians to compete in athletics at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Coates attended a medal ceremony in Melbourne on Friday for Australian race walker Jared Tallent, who was presented the 50 kilometre walk gold medal from the 2012 London Games a few months after drug cheat Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin was stripped of his title.

"Presenting an Olympic medal is always an honour, but more so on this occasion to be part of rectifying, in some way, the massive injustice perpetrated on Jared by a doping cheat and aided by a Russian Anti-Doping Agency and Russian Athletics Federation that were rotten to the core," Coates said in a speech before Tallent was awarded his medal.

"I expect that the IAAF will maintain the sanction against Russian athletics," Coates later told reporters.

The Australian added that he expected international weightlifting would sanction the sport's national governing bdoy in Russia.

"There may be also a sanction from international weightlifting I would expect in respect of Russian weightlifting," Coates said.

"There have been a lot of Russians coming up in the samples that have been re-tested from London."

The IOC has called an Olympic Summit for June 21 in Lausanne to decide on Russia's participation, when other issues, such as claims of a complex system to beat the anti-doping system at the Sochi Winter Olympics, will also be on the table.

Depending on the IAAF's decision on the ban, Coates said the meeting would likely set the framework how individual athletes protesting their innocence as clean athletes could appeal the blanket Russian ban.

"We will look at the next step for us," he said. "The debate next Tuesday will be on the issue of individual justice and rights.

"I'm president of CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), I would think there would be appeal opportunities, I would imagine for someone who can establish their individual integrity.

"It may be that our meeting next week will set some guidelines for the international federations who again would have the task of deciding if there's any individual within a federation that they've put out who ought to be allowed in, what hurdles that person would need to have to jump.

"My guess is they'd have to establish they were regularly tested outside of Russia by an anti-doping authority and the samples were analysed outside of Russia on an regular basis."

(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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