Crucial vote on banning some Russian athletes from Rio Olympics


A vote Friday will determine whether Russian track and field athletes will be allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations banned the athletes in November after Russia was accused of running a state-sponsored doping system for its track and field competitors involving coaches and government officials. The international track and field governing body's leaders were set for the new vote Friday.

Russia's desire to win at all costs led to a culture of cheating, a World Anti-Doping Agency report found in November, detailing cover-ups in a Russian doping lab, widespread bribery, and intimidation by the Russian government.

Russia wants that ban lifted, but a new WADA probe whose results were announced this week had evidence the country is not changing its ways, reports CBS News correspondent Holly Williams.

Will doping report keep Russia out of 2016 Ol... 02:59

The London Olympic Games were sabotaged by Russian athletes who shouldn't have been competing, according to WADA. But it took years of mounting evidence before the agency finally acted.

Helmut Baldis, general secretary of the Austrian Athletics Federation, said it is "incredible" this went unnoticed for so long.

"But the good thing is that now, things are changing. And we hope we are starting to see a new era of fair play and anti-doping worldwide," Baldis said.

That may be an overstatement, because Russia seems to be up to its old tricks.

This week's report finds that since the ban was imposed, Russian athletes appear to be dodging drug tests, with over 700 athletes declining or cancelling tests. Armed Russian state security officers are intimidating testers looking for athletes, and 52 Russian athletes turned up a banned substance.

Russia claims it's been victimized and is campaigning for its track and field athletes to be allowed to compete in Rio. But the former head of Russia's anti-doping lab, Grigory Rodchenkov, has now apparently come clean, saying Russian officials switched up to 100 tainted urine samples with clean ones at the Sochi Games, where Russia topped the medal tally.

The November report also alleged corruption within the International Association of Athletics Federations itself. Prosecutors say its former head accepted more than $1 million in bribes to cover up Russian doping.

The problem, according to one point of view, is that some world sporting bodies - which profit from competition - have no interest in properly investigating doping allegations because it damages the business of sport. And that is why Russia was able to get away with this for so long.