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Russian athletics chief says he was suspended from IAAF Council

June 20, 9:16 UTC+3
According to Mikhail Butov the initiative comes not from the Council members, but from the IAAF Taskforce representatives
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Mikhail Butov

Mikhail Butov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

CHEBOKSARY, June 20. /TASS/. Secretary General of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) Mikhail Butov, elected to the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) last August, now has been suspended from the IAAF Council until ARAF is restored to its rights, Butov told TASS on Monday.

The IAAF Council at a meeting in Vienna on Friday decided to keep in force the ARAF disqualification. This means that Russian field and track athletes are currently ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. In addition, the Council decided to suspend the work of all Russian citizens in the IAAF commissions, committees and other working bodies.

"My IAAF Council membership has now been suspended," Butov said. "Yes, I was nominated to the Council from ARAF, but now as the Council member I represent not Russia, but the international federation. Although they explained to me last November that the ARAF deprivation of the membership would not affect in any way my activity in the IAAF Council, but now the view has changed, and this initiative, as far as I know, comes not from the Council members, but from the IAAF Taskforce representatives."

The IAAF Inspection Team, controlling the progress of changes in the Russian track and field athletics, on Friday presented a report to the Council members in which said that Russia has not done enough to return ARAF to IAAF.

"The suspension of my membership in the IAAF Council has considerably worsened the situation with the ARAF disqualification," Butov said. "Previously I could as a Council member attend various meetings, communicate with the colleagues, discuss with them all the issues, explain my point of view. No all this is gone."

According to the IAAF Constitution, the Council supervises the activity of the organization and reports the results of its work every two years at IAAF congresses.

The independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on November 9 the results of its probe into the activities of the all-Russian Athletics Federation, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (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.

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 International Association of Athletics Federations said at its Council meeting in November 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.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko traveled on November 25-26 to Germany’s Frankfurt, where he met with the administration of WADA, and a road map on the settlement of the current situation was drafted as a result of that meeting. 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.

The Olympic Games in Brazil will be held on August 5 - 21.

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