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MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Sebastian Coe, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), hopes to see Russia’s membership reinstatement in the global body by the end of the year as the country is moving in the right direction in its anti-doping efforts, BBC reported on Thursday.
"We should acknowledge the progress that is being made," BBC quoted Coe as saying in regard to the recent work of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) on the suspended membership reinstatement with the IAAF. "The new federation is populated by people who I do genuinely think have grasped the enormity of this challenge."
"We need to make sure that we continue to do everything we can to get clean Russian athletes back into the international fold," the IAAF president said. "That was always the task once the federation had been suspended. We need to identify clean athletes and separate them from the tainted system."
Asked whether, the ARAF had the chances of restoring its membership with the IAAF by the yearend, Coe said, "I hope there is a real possibility of that."
President Coe said that Russia’s recent work with the IAAF was much higher compared with the country’s cooperation with other international sports federations.
"It does look as the things are beginning to come together," Coe said. "No more sport has worked more closely, I mean its federation in Russia, than athletics."
In 2015, the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), 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.
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.