Birmingham, United Kingdom: The governing body of world athletics said on Tuesday it was maintaining Russia’s ban from the sport over mass doping, saying Moscow had failed to provide evidence it was adequately testing Russian competitors.
Despite Russian athletes being allowed back into Olympic competition, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said the country’s anti-doping body Rusada had met some of the requirements to be reinstated, but not all.
The IAAF’s medical expert Rune Andersen said the sport’s anti-doping task force had “recommended to the IAAF Council and the Council accepted that Rusaf (the Russian athletics federation) not be reinstated”.
“Because while many reinstatement conditions had been met, there are several that still have not been satisfied,” Andersen told a press conference in the English city of Birmingham.
“For example, Rusaf and Rusada have still not provided a test distribution plan for 2018 that shows an adequate amount of testing of Russian athletes.”
Andersen also said Rusaf had not demonstrated “that it has fixed previous legal issues that meant it was unable to enforce provisional doping bans”.
The International Olympic Committee lifted its ban on Russia at the end of the Pyeongchang Winter Games last month.
Russia had been banned from the Olympic movement over allegations it put in place a huge system of state-sponsored doping culminating at the 2014 Russian-hosted Sochi Winter Games. A team of 168 Russians competed in Pyeongchang under the banner of Olympic Athletes from Russia, but a Russian curling medallist tested positive for a banned substance.
Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the head of Russian athletics, said he would seek a meeting with IAAF President Sebastian Coe and Andersen to argue his case.
“We’ve sent them all the materials and the documents (they asked for),” he said, adding that the IAAF task force “has not been in touch with us since October”.
Sergei Shubenkov, Russia’s 2015 world 110m hurdles champion, said the IAAF’s decision was incomprehensible.
“I just have no idea how to take all this,” he told R-Sport agency. “For a long time now I have not understood what’s going on at these (IAAF) meetings and their decisions.
“In any case there’s no choice (for us athletes) and I’ll continue training and preparing.”
Several Russian athletes competed as neutrals in last week’s World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, including the winners of the women’s and men’s high jump competitions, Mariya Lasitskene and Danil Lysenko. — AFP