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Mutko says IAAF not eager to restore Russia’s membership

January 13, 15:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian athletes are ready for more stringent examinations by international federations, according to Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy Vitaly Mutko

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MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) does not seem to be interested in restoring the membership of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy Vitaly Mutko told TASS.

The All-Russia Athletic Federation was suspended in November 2015 over supposed numerous violations of anti-doping rules by Russian athletes. Subsequently, the Russian team was barred from all international competitions and had to miss out on the Rio Olympics, while only long jumper Darya Klishina was granted the right to participate.

"We have scaled back our activities aimed at restoring the IAAF membership. The reason is that, on the one hand, the international association does not seem eager to restore our membership. If it was, all this could have been done much faster. Until now, everything has been based on formal principles: they publish some criteria, ask questions and say we should come tomorrow. The next meeting will be held on January 23, after that a three-month pause is expected, so the process is rather slow," Mutko explained.

Mutko also said that Russian athletes are ready for more stringent examinations by international federations during the next two or three years in order to prove they do not violate anti-doping rules.

"We are ready to suggest that sports organizations place stricter control over all Russian teams for two years or even three years, if they wish," Mutko stated. "You will see that Russian athletes’ victories have nothing to do with doping. Only 15-17 of our athletes have received the necessary permission to take prescription medicine, while the others don’t have any health issues at all."

According to Part Two of the report delivered by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, over 1,000 Russian athletes could have been involved in an alleged manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.

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