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Athletics

World Athletics Close Case On Russian

The hope of Russian reinstatement into mainstream of athletics fold has been thrown into the spanner after the World Athletics stood down it’s Taskforce on Russian matters after it’s failed to meet the deadline payment given.

The implication of standing down the Taskforce, which is overseeing the Russian’s reinstatement, means work of the Doping Review Board (DRB) which decides which Russians can compete with neutral (ANA) status has been closed.

World Athletics has stood down its Russian Taskforce after confirming it has not been paid the money owed by the country.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) had a deadline of yesterday to pay $6.31 million (£5 million/€5.6 million) as part of reinstatement criteria following the nation’s doping scandal.

RusAF has missed the deadline after asking for an extension and claiming that it does not have the funds available.

Both bodies will cease operations until World Athletics’ Council has reviewed and discussed the situation at its meeting on July 29 and 30.

World Athletics fined RusAF $10 million (£8 million/€9 million) in March, in lieu of expelling the suspended organisation outright.

It came after new President Yevgeny Yurchenko accepted the failings of the previous leadership.

Half of the fine was due yesterday, as well as $1.31 million (£1 million/€1.1 million) in various costs.

The remaining half of the fine had been suspended for two years.

“We recognise these are difficult times, but we are very disappointed by the lack of progress made by RusAF in terms of the requirements set in March,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

“The serious allegations of breaching the anti-doping rules resulted in a new RusAF administration and we had assurances and hoped that change was on its way. 

“However, the experience of the Russian Taskforce, chaired by Rune Andersen, is that this has fallen well short of expectations. 

“RusAF is letting its athletes down badly. 

“We have done as much as we can to expedite our ANA process and support RusAF with its reinstatement plan, but seemingly to no avail. 

“The terms of payment of the fine and costs were clear and unchallenged by RusAF at the time so this issue will now need to return to Council at the end of July, as we stated in 

Council at the end of July, as we stated in March.”

Russia was initially suspended by World Athletics, then called the International Association of Athletics Federations, in November 2015 following evidence of widespread doping in a report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.

Since then the suspension has been extended more than a dozen times.

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