Inside Story

Is it fair to ban Russian athletes?

Seven weeks before summer Games, world governing body for track and field bans Russian athletes from all competitions.

Seven weeks before the Olympic flame is lit in Rio de Janeiro, the world governing body for track and field events has banned Russian athletes from all competitions.

The Olympic Games are founded on the spirit of international unity.

This year, a sports governing body has chosen what some call justice over tradition.

The International Association of Athletics Federations says Russia has not done enough to clean up widespread doping and that state-sponsored cheating goes back to the 2008 Olympics.

The IAAF also says it has no way to verify that all Russian athletes are clean.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the ban is unfair; the IAAF denies its ban is politically motivated.

Is geopolitics at play? And what effect will the ban have?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Dmitry Babich – Political analyst with Sputnik International news radio

Michele Verroken – Former head of the UK Anti-Doping Agency

Sergei Ilyukov – Sports physician for the Finnish Olympic team