MONACO, March 10. /TASS/. The decision to resume the membership of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) does not depend on whether all Russian athletes, disqualified for violation of anti-doping regulations, return their prize money, an IAAF source told TASS.
Earlier, British media reported that members of the IAAF Council will on Friday discuss a proposal by vice chairwoman of the IAAF athletes commission Paula Radcliffe to allow Russian athletes to take part in the 2016 Olympics only when athletes disqualified for doping return all prize money since 2009.
"The key thing is that Russia should comply with anti-doping rules, comply with requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA]," the source said.
"These are the key criteria on restoration of rights, and not the prize money. We discussed that today, but without a link to Russia: the caught athletes could return the prize money. But there was no talk of what was written in the article," he said.
A series of German television channel ARD documentaries prompted a reaction from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which ruled early last year to set up an independent body to investigate the issue.
WADA’s Independent Commission handled the investigation and subsequently published in November 2015 results of its probe into the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) 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.
RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory subsequently suspended their activities, while WADA’s Board of Founders approved the decision of the agency’s Independent Committee that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.
The IAAF said at its Council meeting in November 2015 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.
International and Russian sports experts had repeatedly voiced their assumptions that it was highly possible for Russian national athletics teams to be suspended from the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil this year.
On Friday, at a meeting of the Council, IAAF Inspection Team chief, Norwegian Rune Andersen will present a report on reformation of ARAF. Following the report, the IAAF Council may make the decision to restore ARAF membership in the organization and allow Russian athletes to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics. In case ARAF is not restored as an IAAF member, Russian athletes could miss the Rio de Janeiro Games.