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Russian athletics body plans to resume talks with IAAF only after Rio Olympics

July 22, 15:28 UTC+3
The final decision on the admission of Russian athletes to the 2016 Olympics, due to kick off early next month, is yet to be made by the IOC Executive Board on July 24
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Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the ARAF president

Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the ARAF president

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) will wait until the end of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil before raising the issue of its membership restoration in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IIAF), Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the ARAF president, said on Friday.

"We [ARAF] will continue working mainly with athletes from youth teams," Shlyakhtin said. "We will be including more of such [youth] tournaments on our agenda of competitions."

"As for IAAF - there will be no communications with the organization until the end of the Olympics. We will see what comes afterwards," he added.

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) turned down the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes against IAAF, thus almost closing completely the doors for all Russian field and track athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

The final decision on the admission of Russian athletes to the 2016 Olympics, due to kick off early next month, is yet to be made by the IOC Executive Board, which plans to hold a conference on the issue on July 24.

Last year the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9.

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.

Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend All-Russian Athletics Federation’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward six criteria, which ARAF was obliged to implement to restore its membership.

Starting this year doping control in Russian sports has been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

On June 17, the IAAF Council ruled it was still early to restore the membership of ARAF in the international organization and suspended Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on July 4 that it received a filed lawsuit from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) against IAAF in defense of the national field and track athletes wishing to participate in the 2016 Summer Games and began hearings into the case on July 19.

Late last month the IAAF announced that it amended the organization’s regulations in order to allow field and track athletes from Russia to submit individual applications for international tournaments.

The world’s governing body of athletics, however, emphasized that Russians, admitted to competitions on an individual basis, would be unable to perform as part of the national team and would participate only under the neutral flag.

Earlier this month, IAAF’s anti-doping department rejected personal applications from all Russian athletes for participation in international competitions, including the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, except for long jump athlete Darya Klishina.

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