MONTREAL: The World Anti-Doping Agency has backed the decision of ghe IAAF to extend and enforce the international competition ban on Russian athletes.

Sir Craig Reedie, the WADA president who is also a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, said: “WADA fully supports the IAAF Council’s decision to uphold its task force’s recommendation to maintain Russian suspension.

“The agency applauds the outcome and the process that the IAAF Council followed by appointing an independent task force to evaluate ARAF’s compliance.”

Reedie said that WADA was awaiting the result of its own independent McLaren Investigation which is inquiring into further allegations of doping in Russia.

He added: “It is clear that there is a serious need for culture change in Russia within government and among sports leaders, athletes and athlete support personnel.”

McLaren has shared his ‘preliminary findings’ with the IAAF’s own panel, to the effect that there is “sufficient corroborated evidence to confirm . . . a mandatory state-directed manipulation of laboratory analytical results operating within the Moscow-accredited laboratory from at least 2011 forward including the period of the IAAF World Championships in 2013.”

The full McLaren Investigation Report is to be delivered by July 15 and published in full within five days.

WADA also backed the IAAF’s recommendation to allow any individual athlete, ‘who has made an extraordinary contribution to the fight against doping in sport’ to apply for such permission.

The main beneficiary could be the whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova.