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MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. A decision of five Russian track and field athletes to admit guilt of consuming banned performance enhancing drugs may have a positive impact on the reputation and the global reinstatement of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), a senior Russian sports official told TASS on Wednesday.
According to a statement from the ARAF earlier in the day, Russian runner Antonina Krivoshapka as well as four more national track and field athletes had admitted their guilt of consuming banned doping substances.
"I believe it will yield a positive effect regarding the federation’s membership reinstatement," Yelena Ikonnikova, a coordinator on anti-doping issues with the ARAF, said in an interview with TASS. "At least we hope it will."
Over two months ago, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that doping re-tests of Krivoshapka from the 2012 London Olympics tested positive for a banned substance and ruled to strip her as well three of her teammates of the Olympic silver, which they won in the 4x400 meters relay.
Besides Krivoshapka, who is serving a two-year suspension term starting from September 7, 2016, four more Russian track and field athletes publicly confessed on Wednesday of doping abuse.
They are Yevgeniya Kolodko (stripped of 2012 silver in short put and suspended for period of July 2, 2016 - July 1, 2018), hammer thrower Anna Bulgakova (suspended March 2019, 2017 - March 28, 2019), discus thrower Vera Ganeeva (suspended July 2, 2016 - July 1, 2018) and pole vaulter Dmitry Starodubtsev (suspended July 2, 2016 - July 1, 2018).
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.