RUSSIA SUSPENDED FROM INTERNATIONAL ATHLETICS COMPETITIONS
(P1) Russian athletes have been suspended from all international competitions immediately after the IAAF council voted for their removal IN THE WAKE OF recent DOPING REVELATIONS.
(P2) The 27-member Council voted 22-1 for an immediate ban for Russia, with the country’s representative Mikhail Bukov not ELIGIBLE to vote, and with three ABSTENTIONS.
(P3) IAAF president Sebastian Coe described evidence of a STATE-SPONSORED doping programme in the country as “a WAKE-UP CALL”. He said: “We are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated.”
(P4) No TIMEFRAME has been put on the Russian suspension but, in the short term, it means they are ineligible to compete at next month’s European Cross Country Championship in France.
(P5) It also JEOPARDIZES their involvement in March’s World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon. The council also made the decision to remove the country as hosts of two IAAF-SANCTIONED events.
(P6) As for their involvement in next year’s Olympics, Coe said the door was still open but warned Russia would have to PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS to gain their place in Rio de Janeiro.
(P7) “It is entirely up to the Russian [Athletic] Federation and Russia to ENACT those changes,” he said. “Our VERIFICATION team will be tough.”
(P8) Rune Andersen, an independent anti-doping expert, along with three members of the IAAF council, will be appointed by the beginning of next week to lead an inspection into Russian doping.
(P9) Coe’s predecessor, Lamine Diack, and the former head of the IAAF’s anti-doping programme, Gabriel Dollé, are accused of corruption and BRIBERY which ENABLED the illegal doping practices to continue UNABATED.
(P10) Coe has been UNDER FIRE since Diack’s arrest.
(P11) But the former Olympic champion sounded COMBATIVE after the decision of the council.
(P12) He said: “This is not about politics, this is about the protection of clean athletes. The message of the council could not be stronger.”
(P13) Coe also gave himself and the IAAF a public SLAP ON THE WRISTS for the position in which it finds itself.
(P14) He said: “This makes me angry. We find ourselves in a SHAMEFUL position tonight. We need to TAKE A LOOK AT OURSELVES. I CONCEDE that we need to learn some tough lessons.”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Why do athletes cheat? Is there any way to stop it?
- Russia has been given a chance to host many HIGH-PROFILE sports events such as the Winter Olympics and World Cup lately, despite the evidence that cheating goes on at all levels of Russian national sports programs. Why do you think this SEEMING CONTRADICTION exists?
- Do you think it is REASONABLE to expect INTEGRITY from sports, or is there too much money involved?
- Did you ever run or participate in other TRACK AND FIELD events?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- In the wake of
- Wake-up call
- Pull out all the stops
- Under fire
- Slap on the wrist
- Take a look at ourselves
- Track and field