The Russian sports agent and whistleblower who catalysed a global probe into corruption in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Russian athletics has said that the scope of the investigation should be widened. Andrey Baranov has said that the inquiry should include countries like Kenya and Ethiopia, whose testing is "very limited".
"It is wrong just to be focusing on Russia," Baranov said. "There should be a similar investigation into countries like Kenya and Ethiopia too. Their top athletes are earning far more than the Russians. Yet their levels of testing are very limited."
Kenya has been described as a "hotbed" for doping. Since 2012, more than 30 Kenyan athletes have been suspended after they tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. "A generation of athletes in all disciplines could be lost to the ban," The Star said in its editorial on 10 November. The Kenyan newspaper added that the country had "fallen short" in efforts to control doping.
Given the World Anti-Doping Agency's recommendation that Russia should face suspension from all competition, including next year's Olympic Games in Rio after being accused of a "state-sponsored" doping scheme, Baranov admits that change is required but he argued that Russia should be given the opportunity to reform. "I agree 100% with Wada [World Anti-Doping Agency] that things have to change," he said.
He added: "But Russia has a new president of the federation and a new head coach. They are doing their best to clean up the sport. Maybe it is not as fast as some would like but new and ambitious people are in positions of power."
Wada's damning report detailed evidence of methodical cheating with the consent of the Russian government. IAAF President Sebastian Coe has given Moscow until 13 November to reply to the report's findings.
"I want an explanation," Coe said. "I am completely shocked by the allegations." He added: "My instinct remains to encourage engagement not isolation, but the extent of what's being said, I need to seek (IAAF) council support to have them (Russia) report back by the end of the week."