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World Athletics Council recommends prolonging membership suspension of RusAF

World Athletics, suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. The World Athletics Council has recommended the Congress of the global governing body of track and field athletics to prolong the membership suspension of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) until all reinstatement requirements are met, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said on Wednesday.

Addressing the World Athletics Congress meeting on Wednesday, Coe said that the organization’s Council recommended earlier the 53rd Congress "to maintain the suspension of RusAF’s membership until all the agreed conditions" were implemented.

World Athletics and RusAF

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 prohibited Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag.

The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to extend the suspension of RusAF’s reinstatement process, based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). According to 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 several 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.

In March 2020, the World Athletics Council ruled to fine RusAF $5 million for an alleged involvement of the previous executive administration’s attempt to forge official documents of high jumper Danil Lysenko. RusAF repaid the fine on August 12, 2020.