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Russian Olympic Committee to supervise all national track and field athletics tournaments

World Athletics, which was previously known as the Int'l Association of Athletics Federations, suspended RusAF’s membership in late 2015 following a chain of doping abuse scandals in Russia’s track and field sports

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Working Group will be in charge of all track and field athletics competitions in Russia until the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) gets back its revoked state accreditation from the Sports Ministry, ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said on Friday.

Asked how RusAF will be working this month in terms of scheduled tournaments, Pozdnyakov told journalists that "All of this work is conducted by the Working Group in close cooperation with the Sports Ministry and there will be no infringements at all upon athletes’ interests."

"All events, including the Russian Indoor Championship in Moscow, will be held under the supervision of our Working Group," the ROC president stated.

Vyacheslav Aminov, the president of the Modern Pentathlon Federation of Russia, stated on February 5 that his federation would undertake the financing of all Russian track and field athletics events, which are on the unified calendar of the Russian Sports Ministry.

"It has been once again confirmed that the Modern Pentathlon Federation will grant the financial support for the [track and field athletics] federation," Pozdnyakov said. "It is important for the season to roll on and for the Russian Championship to take place. Therefore, I highly evaluate the work of our group."

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. The suspension of Russia’s governing athletics body has been ruled to remain in force 12 times since its introduction in 2015 with the most recent decision made on September 23, before the start of the 2019 World Championships in Qatar’s Doha on September 27-October 6.

The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to suspend RusAF’s reinstatement process based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). According to the World Athletics, the AIU charged RusAF on November 21, 2019 "with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity."

The provisionally suspended senior officials at that time were then-President of RusAF Dmitry Shlyakhtin and three more high-ranking people from the federation for helping to falsify documents, which Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko presented as his excuse for skipping doping tests. Shlyakhtin and three officials at the issue submitted their letters of resignation on November 23.

On January 29, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) recommended World Athletics to consider an expulsion of RusAF from the list of its members in case the Russian side failed to provide evidence in the Lysenko case. The Russian side was advised to review the case once again and to come up with answers in regard to accusations on this issue.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin signed a decree on January 31 to suspend RusAF’s state accreditation until March 1, 2020.

On February 3, the Presidium of RusAF resigned and handed over its authorities on the organization of federation’s presidential conference as well as on cooperation with international organizations to the Working Group of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). The election conference of RusAF is scheduled for February 28.

ROC Working Group

The Working Group, led by ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, includes Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Director General Yury Ganus, RUSADA Deputy Director General Margarita Pakhnotskaya, Veronika Loginova, who is the head of the Russian Sports Ministry’s Department on the Anti-Doping Support and Interdepartmental Interaction, and Alexei Morozov, the director of the Russian Sports Ministry’s Department of Top Level Sports.

The Modern Pentathlon Federation of Russia has put on the Working Group its Executive Director and three-time Olympic medalist Eduard Zenovka and Tatiana Mironova, the federation’s presidential aide on legal issues.

The RusAF Athletes Commission has delegated to the Working Group 1988 Olympics silver medalist in men’s pole vault Radion Gataullin and three-time World Champion in women’s high jump Maria Lasitskene.