Monte Carlo: The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council has decided to maintain its suspension of Russia from international competition before all verification criteria are fully met.
"Since the IAAF Congress in August, the IAAF Taskforce has been in constant communication with RusAF (Russian Athletics Federation) and its President Dmitri Shlyakhtin. Shlyakhtin has impressed us with his professionalism, and his pursuing to change the old doping culture in Russian track and field," Rune Andersen, independent Chair of the IAAF Russian Taskforce, said at a press conference on Sunday as the Council's two-day 212th meeting concluded here, reports Xinhua news agency.
In April 2017, the IAAF Council approved a roadmap proposed by the taskforce that identified six specific conditions to be met in order for the Taskforce to be able to recommend RusAF's reinstatement. "Some of the milestones on the Roadmap to RusAF's reinstatement have been met, at least in part. However, several key milestones remain outstanding," said Andersen.
The IAAF Council suspended RusAF from membership in November 2015, after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission concluded there was a culture of systematic doping in Russian athletics, ruling out Russian athletes' chances of competing at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and the World Championships in London this year.
According to the taskforce, of the five remaining conditions in the roadmap, acknowledgement of McLaren findings and reinstatement of RUSADA have not been met. In November, WADA ruled against the reinstatement of RUSADA as it considered Russia was still not compliant with the international anti-doping code.
"The Taskforce thinks it's vital, because unless there is an acknowledgement of what happened before, there can be no assurance that it will not happen again. Therefore, the Taskforce recommended to the IAAF Council that RusAF not be reinstated at this time. The Council unanimously accepted the recommendation," said Andersen.
Following the IAAF Council's decision, it remained unclear that Russian athletes have the possibility of featuring on the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. "We have unanimously on every occasion endorsed the recommendations of the Taskforce, and we will continue to do that.
Under the right circumstances that they fully met criteria that we put in agreement with RusAF, we have that reinstatement in place for Russian athletes to resume their places in international sport," commented IAAF President Sebastian Coe.