IAAF voted for Russia suspension to continue

The IAAF have voted to continue the suspension of Russia from all international competition.

And an IAAF task force predicts that Russia will not be reinstated in time for the 2017 world championships in London in August.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) was originally excluded in 2015 following a damaging report alleging that state-sponsored doping was rife in the country.

The ban was extended in March and then June 2016, preventing Russia’s athletes from competing at the Rio Olympics.

Rune Andersen, the independent chairman of the IAAF Taskforce, indicated RUSAF is unlikely to be reinstated until the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declares the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) code-compliant in November.

He said: “The road map that I outlined clearly states there will be no reinstatement until RUSADA is functioning and presumably if everything goes to plan there will be a full reinstatement by November 2017.

“This meant Russia as a nation, or RUSAF, is not recommended by us to be reinstated before that time.”

The IAAF said that it has currently had applications from 35 individual Russian athletes to compete as international athletes.

IAAF president Lord Coe said: “We have always been at pains to provide an opportunity for athletes who can demonstrate they are from a clean system, where we are comfortable that the registered testing pool is a valid one, and that they are under international supervision.

“But most importantly we are not going to jeopardise the opportunities and the chances of clean athletes who are competing alongside them. We have always felt that that is a proportionate response.

“Our priority is to return clean athletes to competition but we must all have confidence in the process.

“Clean Russian athletes have been badly let down by their national system. We must ensure they are protected and that those safeguards give confidence to the rest of the world that there is a level playing field of competition when Russians return.”

The IAAF also announced a freeze on all new transfers of allegiance, with Coe describing rules which allow athletes to switch nationality as “no longer fit for purpose”.

Coe said a working group would be set up to study proposals for new rules relating to changes in nationality, and that the announcement would not affect the 15 applications currently being processed.

He said: “It has become abundantly clear with regular multiple transfers of athletes especially from Africa that the present rules are no longer fit for purpose.

“Athletics, which at its highest levels of competition is a championship sport based upon national teams, is particularly vulnerable in this respect.”

source: Skysports