Russian appeal rejected for 10th time

DOHA • Athletics' governing body, the IAAF, confirmed on Monday that it will maintain its ban on Russian athletes it imposed in 2015, following a council meeting of top officials in Qatar.

Rune Andersen, head of the doping task force for the International Association of Athletics Federations, said there were two outstanding key issues:

•Examination of data retrieved from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

•Financial compensation for the task force's costs and legal costs because of the scandal.

He also added his task force was looking into claims that coaches from the discredited Russian athletics regime were still involved in the sport which "run counter to assurances" received from Moscow.

Asked if this latest extension of the ban meant Russian athletes would not be able to compete under their country's flag at this year's world championships in Doha in September, Andersen said there was still time, but conditions "have to be met".

IAAF president Sebastian Coe did not want to speculate on their chances of entry, saying: "It will be dependent on the recommendations given by the task force."

Responding to the IAAF's concerns, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov insisted any coach found to have been involved in doping would be "automatically excluded" from working with the national team.

Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the head of Russia's athletics federation, is confident that the coaches and compensation issues would be resolved at a meeting with Andersen later this month.

The IAAF suspended Russia in November 2015 after the eruption of a state-sponsored doping scandal, and the decision to keep the ban in place was the 10th time the body has turned down their appeal for reinstatement.

Both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee have revoked their suspensions of Russia while the International Paralympic Committee has said it will reinstate Russia by March 15.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2019, with the headline 'Russian appeal rejected for 10th time'. Print Edition | Subscribe