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June 10, 2019

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IAAF irked by Russian back sliding

The IAAF has been left “frustrated” by Russian back sliding on issues critical to the country’s reintegration into global track and field, a top official said yesterday.

Rune Andersen, head of the doping task force for the International Association of Athletics Federations, said he had recommended to the 27-strong IAAF Council that it uphold its ban on Russian athletes, first imposed in 2015 over mass state-sponsored doping.

Andersen said Russia had paid out more than US$3.2 million for the Task Force’s work and had also committed to paying any more costs, so the “cost condition has been met.”

He added “progress has been made on” retrieving data and samples from a Moscow laboratory at the heart of the scandal. Those have been passed on to the Athletics Integrity Unit, a watchdog founded by the IAAF to combat doping in the sport. When they report back, the Task Force will consider that issue resolved.

The AIU are also investigating whether Russian athletics federation (RUSAF) officials were involved in the alleged cover up of a doping offence by high jumper Danil Lysenko.

“Reinstatement cannot be considered while that investigation remains pending,” Andersen said.

“Finally the Task Force noted recent allegations that banned coaches and banned doctors continue to work with Russian athletes. If so, that calls into question whether RUSAF is able to enforce doping bans and whether all RUSAF athletes have embraced the change to a new anti-doping culture proclaimed by RUSAF, both of which are conditions to reinstatement.

“The Task Force shares Council’s frustration at progress in two areas being undermined by apparent back sliding in two other areas.

“It hopes the outstanding issues can be resolved soon,” he said.


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