IAAF main­tains Rus­sia’s ban from ath­let­ics over dop­ing

The Phnom Penh Post - - SPORT - Luke Phillips

THE govern­ing body of world ath­let­ics on Tues­day main­tained Rus­sia’s ban from track and field over mass state­backed dop­ing, cit­ing two con­di­tions be­fore the pow­er­house can re­turn to in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Rune An­der­sen, head of the IAAF’s task­force on Rus­sia, said Rus­sian author­i­ties, in the form of the Rus­sian Anti-Dop­ing Agency (RUSADA), had to grant ac­cess to data from test­ing of sam­ples at a Mos­cow lab­o­ra­tory from 2011 to 2015 and also pay the IAAF’s costs.

Ac­cess to the sam­ples would hand the Ath­let­ics In­tegrity Unit, the in­de­pen­dent body that man­ages all dop­ing and non-dop­ing in­tegrity-re­lated mat­ters in ath­let­ics, the op­por­tu­nity to de­ter­mine whether any sus­pi­cious find­ings should be in­ves­ti­gated.

“I hope they’ll de­liver the data by the end of this year,” An­der­sen said of the sam­ples taken and stored in the Mos­cow lab­o­ra­tory. “But I can­not go any fur­ther than that.

“We’ve re­ceived no as­sur­ances it will be de­liv­ered to us di­rectly,” the Nor­we­gian said of the data.

“As­sur­ances have been given to WADA ( World Anti-Dop­ing Agency) and WADA have set a dead­line of De­cem­ber 31 to re­ceive the data. We’ll have to rely on re­ceiv­ing the data from WADA be­fore hand­ing it to the AIU.”

The IAAF’s de­ci­sion means Rus­sia will not, for the mo­ment, be able to com­pete un­der its own flag at the Euro­pean In­door Cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow in Fe­bru­ary 2019, with the IAAF Coun­cil not sched­uled to meet again un­til March.

Rus­sia’s ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion (RUSAF) was ini­tially banned by the IAAF in Novem­ber 2015 over al­le­ga­tions of wide­spread govern­ment-backed dop­ing fraud.

Its ath­let­ics team was barred from the 2016 Rio Olympics and also missed the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don a year later.

A num­ber of Rus­sian at hletes, how­ever, have been granted per­mis­sion by t he In­ter­na­tiona l As­so­ci­a­tion of At hlet­ics Fed­er­a­tions (I A AF) to com­pete as neu­tra ls af­ter meet­ing t he ex­cep­tiona l elig ibilit y cri­te­ria, es­sen­tia lly demon­strat­ing that they’ve come through trans­par­ent anti-dop­ing test­ing.

The last f ull Rus­sian at hlet­ics del­e­ga­tion com­peted at the 2015 Bei­jing world cham­pi­onships. Since t hen, one Rus­sian com­peted in Rio, 19 at the Lon­don worlds a year later and 72 at the Euro­pean champs in Berlin in Au­gust.

Rus­sia had also been banned from the Olympic move­ment over the dop­ing scan­dal cul­mi­nat­ing at the 2014 Rus­sian-hosted Sochi Win­ter Games.

A team of 168 Rus­sians, how­ever, com­peted in this year’s Pyeongchang Win­ter Games un­der the neu­tral ban­ner of “Olympic Ath­letes from Rus­sia”, although a Rus­sian curl­ing medal­list tested pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance.

Nev­er­the­less, the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee lifted its ban on Rus­sia at the end of the Pyeongchang Olympics while WADA in Septem­ber lifted its ban on RUSADA for non­com­pli­ance.

WADA drew heavy in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism when it voted to de­clare RUSADA “com­pli­ant”, be­fore be­ing granted ac­cess to Mos­cow raw data.

It re­sponded by promis­ing it will im­pose new sanc­tions if Rus­sia did not co­op­er­ate by De­cem­ber 31 and a team vis­ited the Rus­sian cap­i­tal last week with an­other due next week to carry out an au­dit.

The WADA de­ci­sion led RUSAF to ap­peal against its IAAF sus­pen­sion at the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion of Sport.

VALERY HACHE/AFP

In­de­pen­dent chair­per­son of the IAAF Task­force for Rus­sia, Rune An­der­sen, speaks in Monaco on Tues­day. The govern­ing body of world ath­let­ics has main­tained Rus­sia’s ban from track and field over mass state-backed dop­ing.

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