In a bid for Russian to raise a flag at next Tokyo 2020 Olympics, some top senior Russian athletes have throw the gauntlet down for Russian Athletics to pay the required fine before the expiration.
The system of allowing Russian athletes to take part as neutrals will be suspended if $5 million of the $10 million fine is not paid by 1 July, World Athletics has warned.
World Athletics spokesperson Nicole Jeffery said Wednesday Russia had yet to settle its debt.
“The fine has not been paid,” Jeffery told AFP.
In an open letter posted on Instagram, Lasitskene, hurdler Sergey Shubenkov and pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova urged Russia’s athletics federation (RUSAF) to settle the issue and explain whether Russian athletes would be able to compete in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
“Three weeks before the deadline set by World Athletics we are under the impression that Russian athletes will once again miss not only the upcoming international summer season but also the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” they said.
“RUSAF’s failure to fulfil its obligations will lead to the ultimate exclusion of Russian track and field athletes from the international federation and therefore strip them of even the smallest chance to compete in the upcoming Olympics,” the letter said.
“We don’t want to put our careers on the line once again,” the athletes said.
Russia has been suspended by World Athletics since 2015 over repeated doping scandals and has been fighting for readmission.