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Russian athletics federation expects IAAF inspection visit to Russia — official

November 17, 2015, 15:24 UTC+3
The IAAF has formed the IAAF inspection team, which "will verify the reforms program in Russia to enable the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) to gain reacceptance for IAAF membership"
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© EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL

ROSTOV-ON-DON, November 17. /TASS/. The All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) expects a visit by the commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to Russia for the ARAF’s inspection in the wake of recent doping scandals, ARAF Secretary-General Mikhail Butov told TASS on Tuesday.

The IAAF announced on its website earlier on Tuesday it had formed the IAAF inspection team, which "will verify the reforms program in Russia to enable the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) to gain reacceptance for IAAF membership."

The IAAF inspection team is led by Rune Andersen, a Norwegian international anti-doping expert.

The team also includes four IAAF Council members: Abby Hoffman who is a senior executive in the Ministry of Health of the Government of Canada and has been the co-ordinator of the IAAF Anti-doping Task Force since 2004; Anna Riccardi who is a technical delegate for the Rio Olympic Games and is a member of the Italian National Olympic committee; Frank Fredericks from Namibia who is an IOC member and Geoff Gardner who is president of the Oceania Athletics Association, speaker and member of the legislative assembly of Norfolk Island.

"This working commission and any members of the IAAF Council are acceptable for us. We respect all and will work with them. I don’t know when the visit will take place. They have not got in touch with us so far. But the visit has surely been planned," Butov said.

The independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on Monday the results of its probe into the activity of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and the Russian Sports Ministry. The commission brought accusations against some athletics officials and athletes, urging the IAAF to suspend the ARAF.

The IAAF Council said at its latest meeting on Friday that a report prepared by the All-Russian Athletics Federation on the struggle against doping was unsatisfactory and decided by a majority of votes to suspend Russia’s membership in the international athletics association.

Experts say it is highly probable that the Russian national athletics team won’t be able to perform at the Summer Olympics in Brazil in August 2016.

The ARAF sent a detailed report on its activities over the recent years to the IAAF on Thursday along with its official reaction on the report from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The WADA Independent Commission was set up and began its work earlier, following a series of German documentaries on the alleged mass use of performance enhancing drugs among Russia’s field and track athletes.

In December 2014, German TV Channel ARD aired a series of documentaries on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports. The ARD’s two-part documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case), claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in June his deep disappointment with the rise of positive doping cases registered among Russian athletes and urged to enhance the fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs.

On August 1 this year, ARD released another documentary "Doping - Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics." The film claimed that ARD and British newspaper The Sunday Times had obtained a leaked database belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations, which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.

ARD further alleged that a third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests but none of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.

The Sunday Times also alleged that Russian athletes suspected of doping abuse had won 80% of medals for their country at Olympic Games and World Championships between 2001 and 2012.

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