Russia to host 2019 European Games if they address doping scandal
By Duncan Mackay at the InterContinental in Prague
Russia will host the 2019 European Games providing they address the serious doping problems which has led to them being banned, it was announced here today.
The Games are expected to be shared between Sochi, host of last year's Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and Kazan, which staged the 2013 Summer Universiade.
They will follow the first-ever edition held in Baku earlier this year.
An official announcement had been due to be made by European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Patrick Hickey here today until the publication last week of the report from the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Commission which found evidence of state-supported doping.
That led to the suspension of the All-Russia Athletics Federation by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), putting their participation at Rio 2016 in jeopardy.
The scandal appears only to have temporarily halted Russia, however, being chosen to host an event which it was claimed here today was watched by a total of 1.7 million people in 145 countries during Baku 2015.
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