IAAF Maintains Ban Over Russian Athletes

President of the IAAF Sebastian Coe (L) speaks next to the head of the IAAF’s Russian taskforce team Rune Andersen.President of the IAAF Sebastian Coe (L) speaks next to the head of the IAAF’s Russian taskforce team Rune Andersen.

The International Association of Athletics Federations on Friday maintained Russia’s ban from track and field over mass doping, just 10 days before the start of the European Championships in Berlin.

“The IAAF Council unanimously adopted the resolution that the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) not be reinstated at this time,” said Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF’s Russian taskforce team, AFP reported.

Andersen, however, said there had been “a lot of meaningful engagement from RUSAF”, which has made “significant improvement” in meeting reinstatement requirements.

“In some cases they have gone above and beyond what is required,” the Norwegian said before adding that the conclusion remained that RUSAF not be reinstated at this time with further progress still to be made.

Andersen said that for Russia to be reinstated, ideally at the IAAF Council’s next meeting in Monaco in December after a World Anti-Doping Agency meeting in September, three demands must be met.  Firstly, RUSAF must pay for the costs incurred by the IAAF in the wake of the doping scandal, notably the establishment of the taskforce.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) must also be reinstated by the WADA, with a key requirement being the acknowledgement by Moscow that ministry of sport officials orchestrated the doping of Russian athletes.

And finally, Russian authorities must give access to doping tests carried out at RUSADA’s Moscow laboratory between 2011 and 2015.  Russia was accused in a WADA report in 2016 of widespread state-sponsored doping. Its athletics team was barred from that summer’s Rio Olympics and also missed the IAAF World Championships in London a year later.

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