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All-Russian Athletics Federation disagrees with AIU charges

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. The All-Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) said it disagreed with accusations voiced by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent disciplinary body in track and field athletics, and was set to prove its innocence.

On Wednesday, AIU has recommended the global track and field athletics body (World Athletics) to consider an expulsion of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) from the list of its members in case the Russian side failed to provide evidence in the Lysenko case.

"RusAF disagrees with the accusations against it, brought forward by the AIU Council, as they are baseless and lack evidence," the Russian track and field athletics federation said, adding that it was "taking into account violations of the RusAF procedural rights, including by giving RusAF a very short period of time to respond to the charges that took AIU months to prepare."

The organization said it was set to prove its innocence and was considering all lawful variants to defend its stance and interests of its athletes.

In line with the World Athletics charter, the case is to be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If RusAF is found guilty, the World Athletics council will consider penalties against the Russian organization, up to complete exclusion of it.

The AIU said that, based on results of an inquiry, RusAF officials, including former head Dmitry Shlyakhtin, were involved in submitting forged documents and false explanations to AIU in order to explain why Lysenko skipped his doping tests.

Former RusAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin submitted a letter of resignation on November 23, 2019 in view of accusations against him and three more RusAF officials for their alleged interference into an investigation of a case involving Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko. Yulia Tarasenko was appointed the acting president of RusAF. A vote to elect the new leadership is scheduled for February 28.

World Athletics, which was previously known as the International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF, suspended RusAF’s membership in late 2015 following a chain of doping abuse scandals in Russia’s track and field sports. Only one Russian track and field athlete was allowed to participate in 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil and she was Russia’s long jumper Daria Klishina.

In 2016, Russian athletes were permitted to participate in international events as neutral athletes. In late November, World Athletics said it would suspend issuance of permissions to Russian athletes until the inquiry into the Lysenko case is completed.