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World Athletics suspends reinstatement process of RUSAF

On Thursday, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended RUSAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin for his interference in the investigation of the Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko's case
Word Athletics Taskforce independent chairperson Rune Andersen EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
Word Athletics Taskforce independent chairperson Rune Andersen
© EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (World Athletics) has suspended the reinstatement process of the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) in the association, head of the World Athletics task force Rune Andersen told a press conference on Friday.

"I am sure that you've seen the Athletics Integrity Unit press release from yesterday, where there are charges laid against officials from the Russian Athletics Federation. This was discussed today and yesterday by the World Athletics task force. There will also be a meeting of the WADA Executive Committee on the 9th of December, which will have an impact on us, we believe. There will be serious consequences suggested by the Compliance Review Committee from WADA. So, based on this, we proposed to the task force and to the Council today <...> that the Council immediately suspends the RUSAF reinstatement process pending resolution of the charges," Andersen said.

"The Council mandates the task force to make recommendations to Council as to the sanctions that Council should impose on RUSAF is if it is determined that RUSAF has breached its obligations under the anti-doping rules, and whether Congress should be asked to consider the expulsion of RUSAF from the membership of World Athletics," he added.

"The Council mandates the members of the task force and the Doping Review Board, which considers the ANA status of athletes, to review the authorized neutral athletes ANA mechanism that the Council put in place in June 2016, and to make recommendations to the Council as to whether that mechanism can and should continue to be used given the above development, and if so, in what form it will be. Any ANA applications received in the interim to be held in abeyance pending such review," Andersen noted.

On Thursday, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended RUSAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin for his interference in the investigation of the Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko's case, as he was temporarily banned from competing in August 2018 after repeatedly violating doping rules. Shlyakhtin, who served as RUSAF president since January 2016, said that he will leave the post for the duration of the investigation. Russian athletes currently compete as Authorized Neutral Athletes.

RUSAF membership in the World Athletics was suspended in November 2015 after the investigation carried out by the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) commission headed by Richard Pound. Since then, the World Athletics repeatedly extended RUSAF's suspension. In 2016, Russian athletes were allowed to compete at international championships as Authorized Neutral Athletes (ANA).