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World athletics body upholds Russia ban

World athletics body upholds Russia ban
World athletics body upholds Russia ban

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Tuesday upheld a ban against Russia’s Athletics Federation (RUSAF) over doping in the country.

RUSAF has been suspended since 2015 over a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that found evidence of widespread and state-sponsored doping in the sport.

Since then, some individual Russian athletes, however, have been allowed to compete internationally as neutrals.

This was however on the condition of their meeting certain criteria that showed they had operated in a dope-free environment.

But the national athletics team was banned from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

IAAF’s Russia Task Force head, Rune Andersen, had said in July that RUSAF had made significant but not complete progress in meeting the reinstatement requirements.

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To be reinstated, IAAF had said Russia must acknowledge findings of the WADA-commissioned McLaren report which indicated that doping in the country was state-sponsored.

Russia must also provide access to the data from testing of samples at the Russia Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) Moscow laboratory from 2011 to 2015.

Russia has accepted there was extensive doping in the country, but its authorities had continued to deny that any of it was state sponsored.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA have both reinstated Russia.

WADA’s controversial reinstatement in September was on the condition Russia recognises the findings of its report and allows access to RUSADA’s stored urine samples.

Failure to provide access to the full data from the Moscow lab by Dec. 31 could lead to another suspension, WADA had warned.

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