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Russia hopes that IAAF lets Russian athletes under 18 to compete internationally

February 08, 3:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The IAAF ruled on Monday to keep the suspension of the ARAF membership in force, effectively banning Russian athletes from taking part in international events

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© AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) hopes that the world governing body for track and field IAAF will allow Russian athletes who are under the age of 18 to compete in international events.

The IAAF ruled on Monday to keep the suspension of the ARAF membership in force, effectively banning Russian athletes from taking part in international events. Only athletes under the age of 15 will be allowed to compete on the international level.

"It should be noted that the IAAF council has made a positive decision to allow athletes under the age of 15 to compete in international events as neutral athletes, without filing requests. At the same time, the ARAF hopes that a similar decision will be made regarding athletes under the age of 18 and veterans, in order to allow them to take part in international competitions," the ARAF press service said in a statement Tuesday.

The ARAF also said that it continues its efforts toward restoring membership.

"The federation, along with the sports ministry and other organizations will continue to take efforts to fulfill IAAF requirements," the organization said, adding that these measures included a significant increase in samples that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) plans to take from Russian athletes this year.

In 2015, the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, 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.

Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement to restore its membership in the global federation.

In mid-June of 2016, the IAAF Council ruled it was still too early to restore Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) membership in the international organization subsequently extending the suspension of Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games in August.

Later, the IAAF anti-doping agency turned down Russian field and track athletes’ individual applications, except the one filed by three-time European champion Daria Klishina.

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