MONACO, December 4. /TASS/. The Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has decided to extend the membership suspension of the All-Russia Athletics Federation, Rune Andersen, the head of the IAAF Independent Taskforce Group, said on Tuesday.
The suspension’s extension means that Russian track and field athletes will be still unable competing in international tournaments under the national flag.
Addressing a news conference after a session of the IAAF Council in Monaco earlier in the day, Andersen said a decision had been made against reinstating the ARAF, often referred to as RusAF, in its rights until the Russian organization implements all provisions of the Road Map.
The head of the Taskforce Group said that one of the provisions in the Road Map obliges Russia to grant the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) an access to all collected doping samples, which are stored in the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.
“I hope they will deliver the data by the end of this year,” Andersen told a news conference. “But I cannot go any further than that… We have received no assurances it will be delivered to us directly.”
Early last month, ARAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin said that the federation had been also obliged to repay a debt of $2.76 million to the IAAF as one of the provisions for the reinstatement of the Russian athletics federation’s body with the world’s track and field sports governing organization.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe told a news conference in Monaco that Russia’s membership with the organization may be reinstated before the next session of the IAAF Council, scheduled for March 2019.
According to Coe, the IAAF could support Russia’s membership reinstatement before March if relevant recommendations came from the IAAF Independent Taskforce Group, headed by Rune Andersen.
IAAF statement on ARAF’s reinstatement
Following the IAAF Council’s meeting a statement from the international organization outlined a number of requirements for the Russian track and field body regarding the membership reinstatement and they are:
– “The AIU [the Athletics Integrity Unit] must confirm that it has been given all of the data and access to the samples that it needs to determine which of the Russian athletes in the LIMS database have a case to answer for breach of the IAAF anti-doping rules. The IAAF Council was clear that Russian athletes cannot return to international competition unconditionally until that issue is resolved one way or the other.”
– “RusAF must pay all of the costs incurred in the work of the Taskforce and in bringing or defending Russian cases at CAS. The IAAF Council was clear that this debt must be settled for reinstatement to occur; it is not fair to ask the IAAF and its other members to continue to carry these costs.”
Russia’s membership suspension with IAAF
In 2015, the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission carried out an investigation into the activities of ARAF, the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, the RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) and the Russian Sports Ministry.
The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.
The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended. The IAAF in turn decided to suspend ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement in order to restore its membership in the global federation.
The IAAF, however, permitted clean athletes from Russia to participate in the international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the ARAF was reinstated.
Russia’s track and field athletes participated in the 2018 European Championships under a neutral flag. The country’s track and field athletes won one gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the 2018 European Championships, but they were not included in the overall medals standings due to their neutral status.
The WADA Executive Committee announced on September 20 that RUSADA was again in compliance with the Code of the global agency and its membership was reinstated but Russia’s membership with the IAAF still remains suspended.
Article Sourced via TASS