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World Athletics chief Coe ready to meet with Russian Sports Minister Matytsin

The World Athletics Council convened for a meeting in Monaco on November 30-December 1 in Monaco

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, is ready to meet with Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin to discuss the reinstatement process of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) with the global track and field athletics body, Rune Andersen, the head of the World Athletics Russia Taskforce Group, said on Wednesday.

The World Athletics Council convened for a meeting in Monaco on November 30 - December 1 in Monaco and a situation regarding the track and field athletics in Russia was among the key issues on the agenda.

"The Taskforce’s understanding is that both the Russian Ministry of Sports and the Russian Olympic Committee are supportive of RusAF’s efforts," a statement from World Athletics quoted Andersen as saying in his statement.

"The Russian Sports Minister, Oleg Matytsin, has asked for a meeting with the World Athletics President and myself to discuss the reinstatement process, and we are currently trying to find a mutually convenient date for that meeting," Andersen said.

The official stated that RusAF was solid on its track implementing all previously required requirements of World Athletics regarding the membership status reinstatement.

"As I told [World Athletics] Congress last month…, the view of the Taskforce is one of guarded optimism," he said. "RusAF is making steady progress towards meeting the conditions set for its reinstatement to membership of World Athletics: the key milestones to date have been met, as well as the various key performance indicators set out in the Reinstatement Plan."

World Athletics and RusAF

World Athletics, suspended RusAF’s (the All-Russia Athletics Federation) 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.

On November 17, 2021, the Congress of the global body of track and field athletics, World Athletics, voted to extend a membership suspension term of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) until the Russian side met all of its reinstatement requirements.