Russia's Athletics Ban Extends Beyond 2017 World Championships

Russia's Athletics Ban Extends Beyond 2017 World Championships

Russia's Athletics Ban Extends Beyond 2017 World Championships

Russian Federation will miss this year's World Championships after athletics' governing body voted to extend their suspension from global competition for state-sponsored doping.

Some Russians may still compete under a neutral banner should they pass testing criteria, with 35 applying to do so, but the country is otherwise not expected to be fully reinstated until November.

The unanimous decision of the IAAF Council, led by president Sebastian Coe, came as Rune Andersen, the head of a Task Force monitoring the reform of the anti-doping programme in Russian Federation, reported to members late on Monday that the country had not yet fulfilled the criteria to be reinstated.

"If everything goes in accordance to plan there will be a full reinstatement by November 2017", said Andersen. In the meantime, Russian athletes could apply to compete at global competitions as neutral athletes.

Since February 2016, testing in Russia has been overseen by the United Kingdom Anti-Doping Agency because its Russian counterpart was banned from handling samples due to corruption claims.

So far in 2017, 35 Russian athletes have applied to compete as neutral athletes in global competition, the statement added. RUSAF itself has created a committee to investigate state collusion to cover up doping by Russian track and field athletes, though critics including Anderson remain skeptical of the committee's ability to stamp out cheating in the system. Their ban has been extended by the IAAF ruling them out of the championships. They can still participate in the world championship provided they are okayed by the IAAF.

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Maxwell said the unit's commanding officer would decide what punishment is warranted if anybody is found guilty of wrongdoing. Special Operations Command, which is responsible for overseeing and conducting special operations and secret missions.

Sports minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS news agency that if any Russian athletes qualify as neutrals then Moscow would guarantee funding.

The decision did not affect 15 transfers already being processed.

"But most importantly we are not going to jeopardise the opportunities and the chances of clean athletes who are competing alongside them".

- Last year, the IAAF designated five other countries whose anti-doping programs were in a critical condition: Ethiopia, Morocco, Belarus, Kenya, and Ukraine.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said a working group would be set up to agree new rules by the end of the year.

The new system is to assess "strategic goals" for developing athletics, "targeting cities from countries and regions which will best assist the delivery of those aims".

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