Russian reinstatement process suspended

Expulsion could be considered following recent charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) reinstatement process has been suspended, pending the resolution of recent charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), World Athletics (IAAF) has announced.

On Thursday, the AIU charged RusAF with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity.

The Russian athletics federation has been suspended as an IAAF member since November 2015 and expulsion could be considered following the latest charges.

The World Athletics Council approved a number of recommendations made by the taskforce on Friday, including that the Council immediately suspends the RusAF reinstatement process, pending resolution of the AIU’s charges.

Taskforce also recommended that Council mandates the members of the taskforce and the Doping Review Board to review the ‘Authorised Neutral Athlete’ (ANA) mechanism that Council put in place in June 2016.

“Council mandates the taskforce to make recommendations to Council as to the sanctions that Council should impose on RusAF if it is determined that RusAF has breached its obligations under the anti-doping rules, and whether Congress should be asked to consider the expulsion of RusAF from membership of World Athletics,” the World Athletics statement added in part.

“There is an ongoing process and we have to respect that process,” said Rune Andersen, the taskforce’s independent chair. “There are charges laid by the AIU which we need to respect, and the AIU needs to receive feedback from RusAF by 12 December. When we have the answers from the AIU on what has been going on and what the process will be, then we will convene and look at the whole structure and we will come up with recommendations to the council.”

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe (pictured above) added: “This is a process that has served us well. It is neither symbolic nor have we done it to benchmark ourselves against anything else other than we felt was absolutely the right decision for our sport.

“It may not make us universally popular, but it is really important that we continue with the process we began in November 2015. The recommendation that was given to us today (Nov 22), and unanimously accepted by the council, was in the spirit of that process. We will take this through to wherever we need to take it to protect the athletes and the sport.”

Also during the 220th World Athletics Council Meeting press conference it was confirmed that Belgrade in Serbia will host the 2022 World Indoor Championships, while the Chinese city of Yangzhou will stage the 2022 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships.

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