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Russian athletics chief to speak on anti-doping fight progress in Monaco

February 24, 13:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"I have to explain to my colleagues in every possible way what we had already done. To explain what had changed in the ARAF and what we plan to do next in the sphere of anti-doping fight," he says
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© EPA/Michael Kappeler

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Mikhail Butov, the secretary general of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), told TASS on Wednesday that progress in anti-doping fight would be the main topic of his talks at the session of the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) early next month in Monaco.

"I will be attending the next IAAF Council session, to be held in Monaco," Butov said in an interview with TASS. "I have to explain to my colleagues in every possible way what we had already done. To explain what had changed in the ARAF and what we plan to do next in the sphere of anti-doping fight."

"It is one thing, when we keep working with the IAAF Commission," he said. "But it is important as well to speak with colleagues from the IAAF Council."

Following a series of high-profile doping scandals involving the All Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) last year, the IAAF suspended the federation’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward six criteria, which ARAF must implement to restore its membership.

The IAAF Taskforce, set up in mid-November with the aim to reform the ARAF, oversees the implementation of these criteria. The IAAF monitoring body paid three visit to Russia beginning this year, with the most recent one last week.

The Taskforce is headed by its Independent Chair Rune Andersen alongside IAAF Council’s members - Abby Hoffman, the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Strategic Policy Branch at Health Canada, Anna Riccardi, a Technical Delegate for the Rio Olympic Games and Italy’s National Olympic Committee’s Head of Team Services Sport and Olympic Programme Area, Frank Fredericks from Namibia, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Chairman of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission, and Geoff Gardner, the president of the Oceania Athletics Association (Norfolk Island).

The IAAF announced at its Council meeting in November that a report prepared by the ARAF 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 possible that Russian national athletics teams will be suspended from the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil this year following the findings from the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on November 9 the results of its probe into the activity of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the RUSADA and the Russian Sports Ministry.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

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