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Russian athletics authorities confirm extended suspension from IAAF

June 17, 18:07 UTC+3
Russian athletes won’t be able to take part in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro unless the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) restores Russia’s membership
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© AP Photo/David J. Phillip

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. The All-Russia Athletics Federation confirmed on Friday earlier media reports that the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided at its session earlier in the day to keep in force Russian membership’s suspension.

"I can confirm that the suspension remains in force and will refrain from all other commentaries," ARAF Secretary General Mikhail Butov told TASS.

ARAF Secretary General Mikhail Butov told TASS earlier in the day: "I can confirm that the suspension remains in force and will refrain from comment."

Butov, who is also a Russian member of the IAAF Council, was reported earlier in the day to have left the session in the middle of discussions.

British daily The Guardian reported earlier on Friday that the decision was made due to Russia’s failure to implement the previously set requirements of the IAAF.

Russian athletes won’t be able to take part in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro unless the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) restores Russia’s membership.

Russia's Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko has said Moscow would respond to the IAAF’s decision.

"[Today’s] decision on the ARAF’s suspension was expected and easy to guess," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "We will come up with a response."

In light of numerous doping scandals, which hit the Russian sports in recent years, the IAAF temporarily suspended late last year the membership of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) in the organization.

The suspension means that Russian field and track athletes are currently ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The IAAF’s Council gathered in Austria’s Vienna on Friday to make a decision on the restoration of ARAF’s membership.

Following the ARAF’s suspension last November, the IAAF set up its Taskforce group with the aim of overseeing the implementation of reforms in the ARAF, necessary for the restoration of Russia’s membership in the global organization.

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).

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