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Athletics chief calls extension of Russia's suspension from IAAF inadequate punishment

June 20, 11:19 UTC+3 CHEBOKSARY
The Council of the IAAF decided at its session in Vienna on Friday to keep in force membership’s suspension of the Russian athletics body
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© EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL

CHEBOKSARY, June 20. /TASS/. The punishment by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) is inadequate taking into consideration the work it has carried out over the past seven months, ARAF Secretary General Mikahil Butov told TASS on Monday.

The Council of the IAAF decided at its session in Vienna on Friday to keep in force membership’s suspension of the Russian athletics body. The suspension means that Russian field and track athletes are currently ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Exceptions may be made only for the athletes, who manage to prove they are not involved in the Russian anti-doping system. However, even in that case they would not be able to compete under the national Russian flag. In addition, the Council decided to suspend the work of all Russian citizens in the IAAF commissions, committees and other bodies.

"The degree of our punishment is inadequate to what we have managed to do over the past months," said Butov, who attended the meeting as a member of the IAAF Council. "The situation in Russia’s athletics has changed and the control is different, the coaching staff has significantly changed as well as the situation inside the federation and the team. We have become much more open for the rest of the world," he said.

The final decision on the issue of participation of Russian field and track athletes at the Olympic Games should be announced during the summit of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 21.

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