LONDON, August 9. /TASS/. Russian track and field athletes will miss the 2017 Summer Universiade, due to kick off later this month, Sergey Seiranov, the president of the Russian Students Sport Union (RSSU), told TASS on Wednesday.
The 29th edition of the FISU Summer Universiade is scheduled to be held in Taiwan’s Taipei on August 19-30, 2017.
"Our track and field athletes will not be competing at the Universiade in any available status as no agreement was reached," Seiranov said in an interview with TASS.
"We planned to send 11 track and field athletes, but we did not receive explanations from the International University Sports Federation (FISU) regarding the participation of neutral athletes in the tournament," he said. "It was unclear how they could enter the database."
"There were many questions but no answers were provided," Seiranov said. "The deadline for submitting applications has expired, the on-line registration is closed and there is not a single Russian track and field athlete on the list of the Universiade participants."
FISU President Oleg Matytsin told TASS earlier in the year that Russian track and fielders would be cleared for participating in the 2017 Summer Universiade if they complied with the requirements of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which suspended Russia’s membership in the organization in November 2015 over a host of doping scandals.
Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF, or often referred to as RusAF), told TASS on Wednesday that the RSSU simply failed to reach an agreement with the IAAF regarding Russia’s participation in the upcoming Universiade.
"This issue is not in the competence of the RusAF and athletes for the national team are selected by the Russian Students Sports Union," Shlyakhtin said in an interview with TASS. "We see a legal mishap in the given situation regarding the participation of our athletes just like it was before the Youth Olympic Festival, but in that case the team was selected by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)."
"As far as I understand, the RSSU failed to reach an agreement with the IAAF as it is required by its regulations," Shlyakhtin said. "However, all issues concerning this situation were discussed three months ago and we knew in advance that such situation could arise."
According to the official FISU website, the Summer Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city. The name of the international sports event is a combination of two words, which are ‘University’ and ‘Olympiad.’
It is only second to the Olympic Games. The Summer Universiade consists of 10 compulsory sports with 13 compulsory disciplines and up to 3 optional sports chosen by the host country.
The first Summer Universiade was held in Italy’s Turin in 1959 and the most recent in 2015 in the South Korean city of Gwangju.