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Russian athletics federation RusAF repays its $6.31 mln debt to World Athletics

The RusAF president underscored that it would have been impossible to fulfill the monetary obligations but for the Russian Sports Ministry

MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) has repaid its outstanding debt of $6.31 million to World Athletics, RusAF President Yevgeny Yurchenko told TASS on Wednesday.

"Today, RusAF has repaid in full its financial debt of $6.3 million to World Athletics, including a fine of $5 million and $1.3 million in compensation of additional costs," Yurchenko said. "Therefore, the federation [RusAF] has met in full World Athletics’ requirement as of March 12, 2020."

"It would have been impossible to fulfill obligations at such considerable volume without the lead role of the Russian Sports Ministry," Yurchenko continued.

"I would like to personally thank Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin and members of his well-organized and highly professional team," the RusAF president said. "We are confident that today’s landmark event will form the basis for the bilateral rapprochement with World Athletics in the interests of all Russian athletes."

The Russian Sports Ministry announced earlier on Wednesday that it decided to allocate a one-time subsidy for the All-Russia Athletics Federation for the development of the national track and field athletics and to help the federation to repay its debt to World Athletics.

"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-off subsidy for the development of this sport and for the federation to repay its debt to World Athletics," according to the statement from the Russian Sports Ministry.

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.