(ATR) The International Association of Athletics Federations Council has upheld its suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), saying two conditions have not been met.
RusAF must still pay outstanding costs to the IAAF incurred from the independent investigation into the country’s doping scheme. The IAAF says “logistical issues” have been raised by RusAF about the payment, but “the IAAF will get these resolved shortly”.
The federation is also waiting for verification from the World Anti-Doping Agency about data retrieved from the Moscow laboratory “to determine which athletes have a case to answer under the IAAF anti-doping rules”.
“The data is currently being processed and authenticated by WADA, and WADA has committed to getting it to the AIU as a priority,” the IAAF said in a statement about the data.
Russia has been suspended by the IAAF since 2015, following a documentary from German television that showed a widespread doping cover up in the country. That investigation led to the creation of the independent McLaren report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which revealed the breadth of a state sponsored doping ring in Russia centered on the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
The IOC eventually barred Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics, but allowed over 150 Russian athletes to compete as neutrals at the Olympics. The Russian Olympic Committee was reinstated by the IOC shortly after PyeongChang 2018, and the IOC has said in statements that it considers its involvement in punishing the country for the doping scandal to be finished.
WADA has conditionally reinstated Russia as compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code as it authenticates the data from the Moscow laboratory.
Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF Taskforce enforcing Russia’s suspension, said at a press conference that “might be before, it might be after” the 2019 World Championships that Russia is welcomed back into the fold of international athletics. Since being suspended, Russian athletes have been able to apply for neutral status with the IAAF and compete as independent athletes.
Russia sent 19 athletes to the 2017 World Championships as Authorized Neutral Athletes, winning six medals.
The IAAF taskforce said it is also investigating claims from a German TV documentary that Russian coaches from the time of the doping scandal are back coaching national team athletes.
“This runs counter to assurances the Taskforce has previously received from RusAF that it is disassociating itself from the old regime,” the IAAF said in a statement. “The Taskforce will be asking RusAF for urgent clarification.”
Written by Aaron Bauer
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