Russia remain banned by IAAF

Published: Friday 11th March 2016 by The News Editor

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Russia must wait until May to discover if it can send an athletics team to the Rio Olympics after being told “further significant work” is required before its international suspension is lifted.

IAAF president Lord Coe said it was the unanimous verdict of the world governing body’s council that the nation remains some way short of satisfying the requirements for readmission.

Coe was speaking at a press conference at the end of a two-day IAAF council meeting in Monaco, which met chiefly to discuss the findings of a five-man task headed by former World Anti-Doping Agency director Rune Andersen.

Coe said: “While progress has been made, the council unanimously agreed that the Russian authorities need to undertake further significant work to satisfy the reinstatement condition, (so) RUSAF (the Russian Athletic Federation) should not be reinstated to the IAAF at this stage.

“My job is not to get as many athletes to the Olympic Games as possible. The job of the council is to make sure those athletes who are going to the Games are clean under systems based on integrity.

“There were no pre-ordained outcomes today. We were satisfied, unanimously, that more work needed to be done, although some progress has been made, before we can be asked to make the decision.”

Coe confirmed the final decision on the appearance of a Russian athletics team in Rio would be made at the next IAAF council meeting, which will be convened for that specific purpose in May.

Russia was banned from international athletics in November following an expose by the German television channel ARD of inconsistencies in Russian drug testing procedures.

A subsequent investigation by WADA uncovered widespread cheating and corruption and a complete revamp of the Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA, was ordered.

Russia’s hopes of reinstatement were further hit earlier this week by another ARD programme, which claimed RUSADA had given athletes advance warning of testing plans, and that a banned coach continued to operate.

Coe also sent warnings to five other nations to improve their doping programmes or face the same punishment as Russia, but stressed none were in danger of being excluded from the Rio Games.

Ethiopia and Morocco have been ordered to implement “robust and adequate” testing programmes both in and out of competition, while Kenya, Ukraine and Belarus have been put on an IAAF monitoring programme to ensure their national anti-doping programmes become compliant by the end of the year.

Coe added: “There are no immediate sanctions – it is just a wake-up call at this point – but serious sanctions, provided for under IAAF rules, will only be considered if they do comply with council requirements.”

Published: Friday 11th March 2016 by The News Editor

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