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MOSCOW, April 14 (TASS) - The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) is puzzled by IAAF president Sebastian Coe’s criticism of its efforts to reinstate membership, ARAF chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin told TASS.
"The ARAF is puzzled by Coe’s statements, because we maintain close contact with the taskforce, the work is under way. We do not understand what areas, in Coe’s opinion, demonstrate the lack of progress. Naturally, we will seek information and explanations from the taskforce and its leader (Rune) Andersen," Shlyakhtin said.
Russia’s IAAF membership has been suspended since the publication of the first report commissioned by WADA in November 2015 following allegations by athletes Vitaly Stepanov and Yulia Stepanova of a state-supported doping program.
At the moment, nearly all Russian athletes have been barred from taking part in international competitions. A special commission, led by Andersen, was set by the IAAD to monitor Russia’s efforts toward the reinstatement of its membership.
Speaking at the IAAF council meeting in London on Thursday, Coe said that the six milestones set out for ARAF are far from being reached and "it does not look like they will be met any time soon." Coe added that the organization is concerned by Russia’s anti-doping system, the current employment of coaches involved in doping scandals and the situation surrounding the whistleblowing athletes.
"There is no reason why better progress has not been made," Coe said during the two-day council meeting that began on Wednesday. "The criteria we laid down is the criteria that stands. There is no timeline here. We are going to see this through.".