Canadian Heritage and Employment and Social Development Canada

June 17, 2016 16:51 ET

Statement by the Minister of Sport and Persons With Disabilities on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Decision Regarding Russian Athletics

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 17, 2016) - The decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to exclude Russia's athletics team from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has sent a strong message to athletes who are committed to clean sport and competition.

I support the IAAF decision and the independent IAAF Taskforce recommendations. I remain deeply committed to working with our sport partners, both in Canada and around the world to ensure a level playing field for all athletes whenever and wherever they compete. Nonetheless, I recognize that while this decision addresses RusAF collective responsibility towards clean sport - as a retired athlete - there is no question that I empathize with athletes who are dedicated to clean competition and may find themselves affected by this decision.

I am proud of the role Canada is playing in this important discussion. Through our on-going support to WADA and their headquarters in Montreal as well as the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, our Government is firmly committed to the anti-doping movement and efforts to protect the interests of clean athletes.

I also have tremendous confidence in the strong Canadian voices inside WADA that are, every day, working to ensure that our values are at the heart of the organization's efforts.

As a member of the WADA Foundation Board, I will continue to be an active voice in support of efficient and effective anti-doping practices to ensure the integrity of sport.

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