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March 12, 2019

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Home » Sports » Doping

IAAF retains ban on Russia

Russia’s doping ban from international track and field will remain in place until the Moscow laboratory data has been analyzed, a process that could lead to the country’s reinstatement before this year’s world championships.

The head of the IAAF’s Russia taskforce, Rune Andersen, said yesterday he is waiting for the World Anti-Doping Agency to finish analyzing data from the Moscow laboratory at the center of the doping cover-ups. The IAAF also wants Russia to cover the costs of years of doping investigations.

Andersen said any lifting of the ban “might be before, it might be after” the September 27-October 6 world championships in Doha, Qatar, adding that “WADA has committed to getting (the data) to the (Athletics Integrity Unit) as a matter of priority.”

The AIU prosecutes anti-doping cases in track and field.

Any return of the team for the world championships would need Russian authorities to continue their grudging cooperation with WADA.

WADA reinstated the Russian anti-doping agency last year on condition the country turned over the lab data by the end of 2018. Russia missed that dateline but law enforcement in Moscow eventually gave WADA officials access in January. There are more than 1.5 million files, making analysis a lengthy process, though WADA has said it could be finished next month.

The IAAF is the lone holdout among major sports bodies in maintaining its ban on Russia. The ban has been in place since November 2015, but the IAAF has allowed dozens of Russians to compete as neutral athletes.

Russian high jumper Maria Lasitskene and pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova won gold at the European indoor championships this month in Glasgow. Had Russia been competing as an official national team, it would have ranked fifth in the medals table.


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