Sports Xtra

UK athletes want Russia doping ban extended

Written by Christine Dzakah

A group of UK athletes have demanded Russia's ban from international competition remains until it overhauls its anti-doping systems.

The World Anti-doping Agency will vote whether to reinstate Russia's anti-doping agency (Rusada) on 20 September.

Russia's readmission would be "a catastrophe for clean sport" says the UK Anti-Doping Athlete Commission.

It warns that "athletes will no longer have faith in the system" if Russia is allowed back.

Rusada has been suspended since 2015 after it was accused of covering up drug abuse - including while the country hosted the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics - in a report by lawyer Richard McLaren.

The UK Anti-Doping Athlete Commission says that Russia falls short on two of the demands set out by Wada in August 2017.

"To ignore these conditions, ignores the wishes of the athletes you are there to protect," it added in an open letter to Wada president Sir Craig Reedie.

"It will undermine trust in the essence of fair play on which sport is formed."

Olympic track cycling champion Callum Skinner and skeleton bronze medallist Laura Deas are part of the group.

Three-time Olympic champion Andrew Triggs Hodge and fellow rower Sarah Winckless, Paralympic powerlifter silver medallist Ali Jawad and backstroke world champion Liam Tancock are also members.

Russian anti-doping director Yuri Ganus said earlier this month that he was pessimistic about his country's chances of being reinstated.