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Sports minister: IAAF suspended Russian athletics federation under pressure

November 18, 2015, 13:49 UTC+3
Vitaly Mutko said he expects the ban to be lifted "in two or three months"
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© AP Photo/Matt Dunham

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has suspended Russia under public pressure, but the ban can be lifted in two or three months, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

"The decision to suspend our [athletics] federation was made under pressure. But everyone should understand that this is not a problem of Russia but a problem of the world sports," Mutko said addressing the Russian State Duma.

He also said he expected the ban to be lifted "in two or three months."

The minister stressed there's no chance of postponing or canceling the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

"There are no grounds to consider this attempt or postponement. When Russia won the bid in 2010, everything was well. And then scandals and bribery accusations followed," Mutko said addressing the State Duma.

An Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last week published results of its probe into activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and the Russian Sports Ministry.

The commission made accusations against some athletics officials and athletes, urging the IAAF to suspend the ARAF.

On Friday, the IAAF council voted 22-1 to suspend the Russian federation, which could prevent Russian track and field athletes taking part in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.

Mutko said the doping scandal was pushing Russia to strengthen its positions at international organisations. "Russia is able to deal with this situation. It is pushing us to take more decisive steps and reinforce our foreign policy in international institutions," he added.

 

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