IAAF not ready to lift Rus­sia’s sus­pen­sion

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The IAAF is not ready to lift Rus­sia’s sus­pen­sion from track and field com­pe­ti­tions as the coun­try fails to fully ac­cept the find­ings of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into its state-spon­sored dop­ing scheme. A meet­ing of the in­ter­na­tional track and field fed­er­a­tion’s mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions in Lon­don to­mor­row will be asked to main­tain the ban on Rus­sia that was im­posed in 2015 after World Anti-Dop­ing Agency in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren ex­posed how failed drug tests were cov­ered up.

Rune An­der­sen, the IAAF’s Rus­sia task­force chair­man, wants as­sur­ances that the McLaren re­port’s find­ings “have been prop­erly ac­knowl­edged and ad­dressed, and there will be no rep­e­ti­tion.”

The Rus­sian ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion “has not yet demon­strated to the sat­is­fac­tion of the task­force that it has estab­lished a strong an­ti­dop­ing cul­ture within its sport, or that it has cre­ated an open en­vi­ron­ment that en­cour­ages whistle­blow­ing,” An­der­sen said in his lat­est re­port to the IAAF Coun­cil on Mon­day.

An­der­sen ac­knowl­edged in the doc­u­ment that Rus­sia is mak­ing progress in clean­ing up its dop­ing cul­ture, in­clud­ing “sat­is­fac­tory co­op­er­a­tion” with French crim­i­nal au­thor­i­ties in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but says ac­tion is still re­quired in key ar­eas. A “small num­ber” of ath­let­ics dis­ci­plinary cases that were on­go­ing in 2015 re­main un­re­solved, a “few” ath­letes flagged in WADA’s dop­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion are yet to be in­ter­viewed, and Anderson is con­cerned that banned coaches ar still work­ing in the sport.

“There is a long way to go un­til they can con­duct the test­ing which we con­sider to be mean­ing­ful,” An­der­sen told re­porters. “We are work­ing with the Rus­sians on the chang­ing cul­ture. There are some good move­ments now started from the ath­letes them­selves want­ing to change, but they haven’t shown and demon­strated to us that this is in place.”

IAAF Pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Coe is leav­ing An­der­sen’s task­force to de­cide when Rus­sia should be al­lowed back into the track and field fold. “Al­though there is progress, there is still more work to be done,” Coe said. The only Rus­sians com­pet­ing at the world cham­pi­onships in Lon­don, which be­gin Fri­day, are those cleared to com­pete as neu­trals after the IAAF as­sessed their history of drug test­ing. The 19 ath­letes given ex­emp­tions in­clude three for­mer world cham­pi­ons, but they won’t be al­lowed to wear na­tional col­ors and the Rus­sian anthem won’t be played if they win gold. —AP

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