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Russian Sports Ministry allocates money to repay debt to World Athletics

In March 2020, the World Athletics Council ruled to fine the All-Russia Athletics Federation $5 million for an alleged involvement of the previous executive administration in the attempt to forge official documents of high jumper Danil Lysenko

MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. The Russian Sports Ministry made a decision to allocate a one-time subsidy for the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) for the development of the national track and field athletics and to help the federation to repay its debt to World Athletics, the ministry’s press service said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Taking into account the crisis situation, which erupted in the Russian track and field athletics, the Russian Sports Ministry made an unprecedented decision to allocate the All-Russia Athletics Federation a one-time subsidy for the development of this sport and for the federation to repay its debt to World Athletics," the statement reads.

"One of the top priorities for the Russian Sports Ministry is the development of track and field athletics in the country (both high-level and mass sport), preparation of the sport reserve, protection of Russian athletes’ interests, reinstatement of the national athletes’ right to participate in international tournaments and RusAF’s full-fledged membership reinstatement with World Athletics," according to the statement.

In March 2020, the World Athletics Council ruled to fine RusAF $5 million for an alleged involvement of the previous executive administration in the attempt to forge official documents of high jumper Danil Lysenko. The dateline to pay the fine was set for July 1, 2020. The Russian athletics federation failed to meet the set deadline.

During its session on July 30, the World Athletics Council resolved to strip RusAF of its membership in the governing body of track and field athletics in case RusAF "does not make the outstanding payments of a $5 million fine and $1.31 million in [additional] costs before 15 August."

Speaking to journalists after the World Athletics Council’s session later on July 30, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin voiced a guarantee that the country’s sports authorities would pay the outstanding debt of the national track and field athletics body, RusAF, before the set deadline of August 15.

The international federation, World Athletics, suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue.

World Athletics, however, allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF is reinstated. The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag.