Tag Archives: Russian Athletics Federation

Russia’s doping suspension will be lifted week

Russian athletics chiefs are hopeful that their global ban for doping will be lifted, sources in the country have told the Daily Mail.

World Athletics are due to discuss the prospect of removing the Russian federation’s suspension, which has stood since 2015, at a meeting of the ruling body’s council in Rome.

The Russian Athletics Federation has worked hard to get its house in order since a systemic doping regime was revealed amongst its athletes.

And, though Russian athletes will remain banned from representing the country as a result of the war on Ukraine, their ruling body could be welcomed back into the fold.

World Athletics, whose president is Seb Coe, imposed the eight-year ban after a damning investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed the scale of Russian drug-taking.

The huge, state-sponsored regime sabotaged London 2012 and, according to the investigative report, included ‘cover ups, destruction of samples [and] payment of money to conceal doping tests’.

The Russian federation was hit with further sanctions in 2020, including a $10million fine, after the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) found senior individuals had conspired to break anti-doping rules.

In a separate WADA case, its investigators found that data from a Moscow anti-doping laboratory had been tampered with. It meant the Russian anti-doping agency remained suspended, a sanction which will be reviewed next month.

Only 10 Russian athletes, meanwhile, were allowed to compete as ‘Authorised Neutral Athletes’ at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

However, the Russian federation is now confident that the corrupt individuals have been weeded out and its system is compliant with anti-doping regulations.

Rune Andersen, the independent chairman of the Russian taskforce, was due to deliver a report to the World Athletics council updating them on this progress.

The council began its two-day meeting in the Italian capital on Tuesday. They were also due to discuss the spate of doping sanctions levelled against Kenyan athletes, amid reports that their national federation could be at risk of a suspension.

However, the Kenyan government last week pledged $5million to fight doping after Brett Clothier, the head of the AIU, said increasing resources was ‘where this fight goes next’.

Coe is entering the final year of his second term as World Athletics president and will need to decide shortly whether to run for office again. He has been linked with the presidency of the International Olympic Committee, with Thomas Bach’s second term coming to an end in 2025.

Russia reinstatement at this month’s World Athletics Council meeting unlikely

Yuri Borzakovsky, sports director of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), has expressed the hope that his organisation will be re-admitted to international competition by World Athletics at its Council meeting from November 29 to 30.

The RusAF was stripped of its membership in November 2015 amid a high-profile doping scandal in Russian athletics.

In December of the same year, a taskforce, led by the Norwegian Rune Andersen, was created by World Athletics and has been monitoring the implementation of the RusAF recovery plan ever since.

This work has continued even after World Athletics ruled on March 1 that Russian and Belarusian athletes would be banned from competition “for the foreseeable future” in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

“It is not yet clear what will happen next,” Borzakovsy, the Athens 2004 Olympic 800m champion and former RusAF head coach, told Express-Sport newspaper.

“We are talking about restoring the membership of our federation in World Athletics.

“This issue will be considered at the Council meeting at the end of the month.

“I really hope that we will return to our big Olympic family.”

Asked by insidethegames for a statement, World Athletics responded: “The chair of the Russia Taskforce, Rune Andersen, will report on the progress of the reinstatement process at the World Athletics Council meeting on November 29-30 as usual.

“The Council will discuss the recommendations in his report as usual and any decisions will be announced at the press conference after the meeting.”

Yuri Borzakovsky hopes the ban on Russian competitors will be lifted at this month’s World Athletics meeting ©Getty Images

It is understood, however, that while the reinstatement process may be making steady headway, a restoration of the RusAF will not be possible while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine persists.

“It’s hard for the guys, you won’t envy them here, because they can’t realise themselves on the world stage,” Borzakovsky added.

“They were allowed to compete only in a neutral status, their last big performance was in Tokyo in 2021 at the Olympic Games, before this started at the World Championships.

“Yes, in a neutral status they compete without a flag, but everyone knows perfectly well what country they are from, everyone knows that they are Russians.

“Athletes already live in these realities, it is still difficult for athletes of other sports to accept such conditions.

“In any case, you need to continue to train, compete, while inside the country, and if possible, then abroad.

“At the same time, you need to be ready to go out at any time to the international arena and show yourself.

“It will all depend on whether the membership of our federation is restored or not.”

“The world is horrified by what Russia has done, aided and abetted by Belarus,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said when athletes from the two countries were banned ©Getty Images

While some Russian competitors were previously able to compete internationally as Authorised Neutral Athletes, having undergone statutory anti-doping tests, even they were precluded from international competition by World Athletics on March 1 because of the war in Ukraine.

World Athletics’ stance in is line with a recommendation from the International Olympic Committee and mirrored across most international sport.

“The world is horrified by what Russia has done, aided and abetted by Belarus,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in March.

“World leaders sought to avoid this invasion through diplomatic means but to no avail given Russia’s unswerving intention to invade Ukraine.

“The unprecedented sanctions that are being imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries all over the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.

“Anyone who knows me will understand that imposing sanctions on athletes because of the actions of their Government goes against the grain.

“This is different as Governments, businesses and other international organisations have imposed sanctions and measures against Russia across all sectors.

“Sport has to step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace.

“We cannot and should not sit this one out.”

Russia clears its final payment to World Athletics

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has cleared off debt to World Athletics (WA) for 2021, the acting President, Irina Privalova, has confirmed.

Russia’s news agency TASS quoted Privalova today as saying, “Yesterday, money for the fourth quarter was transferred.

“All debts for the past year to the international federation are closed.”

“Everything possible is also being done to close the debts for the fourth quarter as quickly as possible.”

WA is currently unable to confirm whether the third or fourth quarter payments have been received.

World Athletics announced in early last month that it had imposed a deadline of March 18 for the repayment of costs incurred by its Russian Taskforce in its continuing efforts to reinstate Russia federation after the November 2015 ban imposed following state-sponsored doping.

World Athletics bans Russian and Belarus athletes

World Athletics has banned Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and Belarusian athletics federation athletes “for the foreseeable future” from World Athletics competition in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, with immediate effect.

This means that the two federations’ athletes will not be allowed to take part in this month’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in Serbia.

The announcement made yesterday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus should be banned from all international sporting events.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “The unprecedented sanctions that are being imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries all over the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.

“Anyone who knows me will understand that imposing sanctions on athletes because of the actions of their Government goes against the grain.

“Sport has to step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace.

“We cannot and should not sit this one out.”

The World Athletics Council has today agreed to impose sanctions against the Member Federations of Russia and Belarus as a consequence of the invasion of Ukraine.

“All athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus will be excluded from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future, with immediate effect.

This means that Russia and Belarus will automatically miss out at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships that will start from March 22, in Oman.

The World Athletics announced through a press release on Friday that it was “appalled” by developments in Ukraine and condemned “the Russian military invasion,” adding that WA head had spoken with senior vice-president, Sergey Bubka and with the Ukrainian Athletics Federation president, Ravil Safiullin, offering “whatever practical support we can give.”

World Athletics Athletes’ Commission chairs Renaud Lavillenie and Dame Valerie Adams welcomed today’s decision.

“We stand in solidarity with our fellow athletes, competitors, and friends from Ukraine who are facing far greater challenges than just disruptions to their training and competition, but are in fear of their lives and the lives of their loved ones,” said Lavillenie.

Sebastian Coe and World Athletics continue to monitor unfolding the in Ukraine

World Athletics has issued its own statement in response to events that are unfolding in Ukraine.

Their statement read;

World Athletics is appalled by developments in Ukraine and condemns the Russian military invasion. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has spoken with his senior vice-president Sergey Bubka and the Ukrainian Athletics Federation and has offered whatever practical support we can give.

We continue to monitor the situation carefully, but there is no reason to believe this will affect plans for the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Muscat 22 or the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22. Should these circumstances change, we will notify all our stakeholders promptly.

Please note that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been suspended from World Athletics since 2015, due to doping violations, and therefore is not eligible to host World Athletics events or send teams to international championships.

Sebastian Coe: Russia ban no yet lifted

IAAF president Sebastian Coe said Thursday that Russia still has two pre-conditions to meet before they are allowed to return to international competition, despite the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) deciding to lift a ban on Russia’s anti-doping agency.

WADA controversially ended a three-year suspension imposed after Russia was accused of mounting a state-sponsored doping programme.

That in theory paves the way for a return to competition for Russian athletes.

However, the IAAF, which has banned Russian track and field competitors, insists they remain to be convinced.

The organisation’s taskforce will compile a report with a recommendation which will be presented to the IAAF Council at the beginning of December.

“The reinstatement of RUSADA (the Russian anti-doping agency) was one of three pre-conditions,” the IAAF said in a statement.

“The other two pre-conditions are Russian authorities must acknowledge the findings of the McLaren and Schmid Commissions that Ministry of Sport officials were implicated in the scheme to cover up the doping of Russian athletes as described in their reports.

“The Russian authorities must (also) provide access to the data from testing of samples at the Moscow lab from 2011 to 2015, so that the Athletics Integrity Unit can determine whether the suspicious findings reported in the Moscow lab’s database should be pursued.”

Coe said the outstanding pre-conditions will need to be discussed by the taskforce.

“The setting of our own criteria and the process of evaluating progress against these criteria has served athletics well over the last three years so we will continue to rely on the taskforce and our clear roadmap for RusAF (Russian athletics federation) reinstatement until we are satisfied that the conditions have been met,” said Coe.

Russia could be reinstated in December

Russia could be provisionally reinstated to international track and field competition in December if it meets certain conditions, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said.

Track and field’s governing body suspended Russia in November 2015 after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report detailed widespread, state-sponsored doping in the sport.

Russia had hoped to be reinstated but IAAF officials meeting in Argentina on Friday unanimously upheld the ban and said that although Russia had taken positive steps in the right direction it had not done enough to merit inclusion.

“We have brought about change and it’s change that is very viable,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said during the two-day meeting in Argentina’s capital.

“But we weren’t yet at that point where every element of that criteria had been met.”

Rune Andersen, the IAAF’s Russia task force head, said Russia have made “significant improvement” in achieving the requirements set out by the sport’s governing body.

“In fact, in some cases, they have gone above and beyond what is required,” he said.

Andersen, however, said three requirements had to be met before Russia could be readmitted to international competition.

Firstly, RUSAF (the Russian Athletics Federation) has to pay for costs incurred by the IAAF as a result of the scandal.

WADA must also reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), which depends on the country acknowledging the findings that officials at the Russian ministry of sports orchestrated the doping of its athletes, and its cover-up.

Finally, Russian authorities have to give access to data from doping tests carried out at RUSADA’s Moscow laboratory from 2011-15.

“It would make a mockery of clean sport to reinstate RUSAF when the evidence required to resolve these suspicions, one way or the other, is still being withheld,” Andersen said.

WADA is communicating with Russian authorities to try to resolve these issues before the meeting of the doping agency’s executive committee in September.

“We hope there will be a breakthrough,” Andersen said. “If these points are resolved before the (IAAF) Council’s next meeting in Monaco in December 2018, then the Task Force would hope and expect to be able to recommend that RUSAF would be provisionally reinstated at that time.”

Thirty Russian athletes to compete in European championships

Thirty Russian track and field athletes will take part in the European Athletics Championships scheduled to be held in Berlin in August 2018, the press service of the Russian Athletics Federation reported.

It noted that the number of Russian athletes represented at the tournament could grow, if their bid to compete as neutral athletes is approved by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

“Athletes’ bid to take part in the European championships expires on July 30. The team of Russian track and field athletes can increase provided that Russian athletes who have not yet been allowed to take part in international competitions in neutral status get this permission from the International Association of Athletics Federations,” the press service said.

In December 2016, the IAAF decided to allow Russian track and field athletes who meet the organization’s criteria to take part in international events as neutral athletes during the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation.

The European Championships in Berlin will be held on August 6-12.

Russian hurdlers banned for evading drugs tests

Two Russian athletes who refused to undergo drug tests earlier this year are among four more competitors from the country to have been sanctioned for doping.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) confirmed in a statement posted on their website that hurdlers Andrei Gapon and Denis Chernyaev have each been sanctioned with four-year suspensions, backdated to February 20, for “evading doping testing”.

According to Sports Integrity Initiative, the duo refused to be tested at the Russian Under-23 Championships in Saint Petersburg.

Javelin thrower Igor Nikolaev has also been handed a four-year ban, backdated to November 28, while fellow javelin athlete Alexei Tolokonnikov has been ruled ineligible for two years from January 31.

Both athletes failed tests but the nature of the respective substances has not been revealed.

None of the four athletes are among Russia’s leading track and field stars.

But, while the action by RusAF shows a desire for change, the lingering instances of athletes evading tests also brings cause for concern.

In January, 36 competitors suddenly withdrew from the Siberian Indoor Championships in Irkutsk, either due to an unspecified “illness” or for no given reason, when drug testers paid a surprise visit.

Earlier this month, the International Association of Athletics Federations also threatened to extend RusAF’s suspension after it emerged that top race-walkers from the country are still working with disgraced coach Viktor Chegin.

Chegin, linked to more than 30 race-walkers implicated in doping cases, has been banned from any involvement in the sport for life.

The IAAF warned RusAF their exclusion from the governing body could become permanent if they do not address the remaining problems.

Russian athletes are still eligible to apply to compete as “Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA)” while the suspension remains in place.

RusAF announced that sprinters Irina Boldyreva and Viktoria Gorlova, long jumper Maria Privalova, discus thrower Natalia Shirobokova, high jumper Adelina Khalikova and pole vaulter Georgy Gorokhov are the latest to have made such requests this week.

But five race walkers have had their ANA status revoked by the IAAF for training with Chegin.