A damning report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has turned the athletics world upside down. It also called for lifetime bans for 10 Russian athletes. It claims that doping is prevalent throughout Russian athletics. The country could be suspended from international competitions if it does not acknowledge the claims and take drastic actions to address them. The report also says that doping in Russian athletics was state sponsored. Senior figures in the International Association of Athletics Federations will recommend that Russia be suspended from competitions.
Russian officials have hit back and called the report "groundless". Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the possibility of Russia being banned from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was "inconceivable". He stated: "I would not like to consider such an option. We have young sportsmen, for whom it will be their first Olympics." He added that: "Clean sportsmen should not suffer. They achieve their results by hard work." A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was no evidence and that the accusations, "appear rather unfounded".