Athletics doping: Eilish McColgan & Lee McConnell unsurprised

Eilish McColgan
Eilish McColgan ran the 3000m steeplechase for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics

Scottish steeplechaser Eilish McColgan says she is not surprised by the World Anti-Doping Agency commission's report on allegations of doping, cover-ups and extortion in Russian athletics.

The report recommended that Russia is suspended from athletics competition.

"I am not particularly shocked about this," said McColgan, 24.

"A lot of the athletes are aware Russia does have a problem. It is great that it is coming out because we can try to wipe it out now and start afresh."

McColgan, who has been out of action since January when she broke her ankle, says that doping in athletics "goes a lot deeper than just Russia" but she feels that improved testing is having a positive, though limited effect.

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She told BBC Radio Scotland: "With the introduction of the blood passport we are catching more people but I just don't think there is enough of a deterrent to put people off, especially when there is so much at stake with the Olympics next year."

And speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, the Dundonian said she thought there were "many athletes still out there and getting away with it".

Fellow Scottish runner Lee McConnell was in the Great Britain team that finished fourth behind Russia in the 4x400m relay at the World Championships in 2009 and 2011.

She said "everyone's always had their suspicions" about Russian athletes taking drugs, adding: "But it's always been suspicions and we've never been 100% sure whether they have been clean or they have been taking drugs".

Lee McConnell
Lee McConnell won bronze medals with the British 4x400m team in the 2005 and 2007 World Championships but was part of the team that came fourth in the two subsequent World Championships

"It's still a sport that I'm very passionate about," said the retired athlete, now 37.

"It's a sport that I think may people can still enjoy and hopefully it can become a clean sport.

"The report needs to go further and they need to look at all countries in all sports because you don't want children coming into sport thinking they feel they have to cheat in order to be successful.

"But I do believe there are clean athletes out there who are successful."

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Russian doping 'worse than thought'

McColgan, who has not run for 10 months, is targeting a return to the track "soon" and is determined that she will be in the GB team at the Rio Olympics, despite losing her funding from UK Athletics' world class performance programme.

She said: "It's always a little disappointing to hear you've been removed from funding with less than a year before the Games but I knew in January when I broke my ankle it was highly likely.

"After the difficult year I've had with injury, it's a kick in the teeth.

"Having the support behind you and knowing that people believe in you makes a big difference.

"I'm not the only athlete in the world who is not on funding. It's part and parcel of athletics. I love running, regardless of whether I'm funded or not.

"I'm still confident I can be there and for me it will be a dream to compete for my team at the Rio Games next year."

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