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Russia to miss World Athletics Championships after IAAF ban extended

The IAAF confirmed the decision of extending the ban on Russia's athletics federation four days before the start of the competition in Qatar after hearing a report from its Task Force overseeing Russia’s reinstatement efforts.

By: Reuters | Doha | Updated: September 23, 2019 10:03:14 pm
Representational image. (Source: Twitter/@RT_com)

Russia will miss the World Athletics Championships for the second time in a row after the sport’s governing body the IAAF extended the ban against country’s federation on Monday.

The IAAF confirmed the decision four days before the start of the competition in Qatar after hearing a report from its Task Force (TF) overseeing Russia’s reinstatement efforts.

Earlier on Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revealed that historical data supplied by the country’s anti-doping authority contained “inconsistencies”, also putting Russia’s participation at the Tokyo Olympics under threat.

“We are aware of the allegations of manipulation of the data and that an investigation is ongoing,” said Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF Task Force.

“In the light of that TF recommended that RUSAF not be reinstated and the IAAF council unanimously agreed.”

Russia’s athletics federation (RUSAF) was suspended in November 2015 after a report commissioned by WADA found evidence of widespread doping in the sport.

Russian authorities have denied the existence of a state-sponsored doping programme in the country but have accepted that some senior officials were involved in providing banned substances to athletes, interfering with anti-doping procedures and covering up positive tests.
Efforts to have the federation reinstated have been hindered by reports of mismanagement and doping violations.

The IAAF previously extended Russia’s suspension in June and said a Reuters report that showed banned Russian coaches were still working with athletes would be investigated.

Some Russians with no doping history, including high jumper Maria Lasitskene, have been cleared to compete internationally as neutrals.
Lasitskene is Russia’s only track and field athlete currently holding a world title.

In September last year, WADA voted to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA, clearing the way for the country to compete at the Olympic games in Tokyo next year.

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