IAAF ‘frustrated’ as Russian ban upheld

Rune Andersen, head of the doping task force for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), 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 $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 that “progress has been made on the second outstanding issue,” that of 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, and it will not be until they report back that they have everything they need that 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.”

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