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Russian Olympic Committee chief regrets IAAF’s decision to extend athletic federation ban

On Sunday, head of the IAAF’s Russia task force Rune Andersen presented a report during the IAAF’s council meeting in Monaco

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. The Sunday’s decision made by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) not to reinstate the All-Russia Athletic Federation (RusAF) is lamentable, President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov told TASS on Monday.

On Sunday, head of the IAAF’s Russia task force Rune Andersen presented a report during the IAAF’s council meeting in Monaco. The council members decided to extend the suspension.

Yesterday’s decision of the IAAF is regrettable for the fact that even recognizing that the roadmap criteria were fulfilled by the Russian side, the IAAF’s position remains unchanged," Pozdnyakov said.

"Undeniably, there are still many issues in the Russian athletics, there are cases of anti-doping rules violations," he continued. "But, firstly, they are isolated incidents and definitely cannot be characterized as systematic. Secondly, they are becoming rarer, while measures against those involved in these cases are becoming stricter. Achieving everything at once is impossible, but we are addressing the issues step by step, according to the plan."

'This is a real tragedy'

Pozdnyakov notes that the reference to the re-testing of the Moscow anti-doping lab’s samples in the substantive part of the IAAF’s decision is puzzling.

"It is known that WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] transfers data on the results to the federations concerned, which later make their judgements on each specific case. But we are talking about the violations of the past years, which resulted in the RusAF suspension, and the personal responsibility of those, who can be found guilty. However, how does it implicate the rights of [Maria] Lasitskine, [Sergei] Shubenkov, [Anzhelika] Sidorova or any other clean athletes to compete as part of the national team under the Russian flag? How long will they have to pay for the wrongdoings of others? We are talking about the fates of people, some [athletes] retired because they did not see any prospects, this is a real sports tragedy," the President of the ROC said.

"I hope that colleagues in the IAAF understand this, and the intention to speed up the reinstatement of the RusAF’s membership, which they voiced, will be implemented in the near future," he concluded.

On the day prior to the council’s meeting, RusAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin met with Andersen to discuss the points of the roadmap to reinstate the membership in detail. Since the issue of the RusAF’s membership was discussed last, it was reported that two points of the roadmap were left unfulfilled: WADA receiving the requested doping samples from the Moscow laboratory and payment of $3.2 million debt to IAAF. In late April, WADA announced that the requested samples had been received, while on June 1 Shlyakhtin told TASS that the RusAF had paid off its debt to the IAAF, completing the last demand to have its rights reinstated.

The IAAF statement, published on June 10, points out that the RusAF has successfully fulfilled all the criteria, but the decision on reinstatement will only be taken after the Moscow anti-doping lab samples are re-tested, the investigations into the possible work of suspended coaches and doctor with Russian athletes, as well as the possible involvement of the RusAF officials in the cover-up of an athlete’s doping violation are completed. According to Andersen, it is not clear yet how long the re-testing of the Moscow lab samples will take.