Radcliffe unfazed by Russia athletics absence

Former marathon champion Paula Radcliffe insists Russian athletes were not missed at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland.

Russia were provisionally suspended by the IAAF in November last year after a doping scandal involving their athletes.

Radcliffe, a marathon world champion in 2005, said it was nice to see the focus on performances.

“If we look back to last week’s world indoor championships in Portland, there wasn’t really any talk of drugs or the horrible depths that the sport is in,” she said.

“Did anybody even really notice that the Russian team wasn’t there?

“We just talked about the great performances and the exciting performances. It was just good to see the athletes get a chance to go out there and do what they do best.

“First and foremost, any federation should be protecting their right to compete on a fair and level playing field to be the best that they can be.

“That’s what they want to prepare to do in Rio. I think it’s going to be a good Olympics and it’s going to showcase how good athletics is.”

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