Russia’s doping suspension extends to year seven
Russia’s doping suspension was extended from track and field to a seventh year on Wednesday, with a cautious laudation of reformers and a warning that not everyone supports their changes.
World Athletics voted to maintain the suspension, which was first imposed in November 2015, at its conference. The sport’s governing body said 126 national associations voted in favor of the extension, with 18 against and 34 not.
The vote followed a presentation by Ron Andersen, head of the global athletics task force that oversees Russia’s reforms. He wrote in a report that there is a “new culture” in the troubled Russian Track and Field Federation, better known as RusAF.
The federation is under new management after former president Dmitriy Shlikhtin and four other officials were banned for obstructing an anti-doping investigation into a prominent athlete by providing false medical documents. Russia had hoped to lift the ban in 2019 before the issue pushed the country to the brink of expulsion from world athletics altogether.
“The Russian Federation has made steady progress towards meeting the conditions set for its return to world athletics membership,” Andersen wrote in his report. “The staff feel that these changes reflect a new culture within RusAF, one that generally looks to reject past doping practices, commit to clean competition and move forward.”
However, he cautioned that some figures in Russian track and field are resistant to change.
“There are still people in Russian athletics who have not embraced this new culture, and there is still a lot of work to be done by RusAF to ensure that no influence is exerted, and instead it is the new generation of athletes and coaches who are pushing Russian athletics to forward,” Andersen wrote.
Andersen added that Russian officials had agreed that there would be additional checks underway after the suspension was eventually lifted, and that the Russian Air Force was paying for more track and field doping tests due to “concern” about the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, which remains under control. . A separate comment on the World Anti-Doping Agency.
World athletics has allowed a limited number of Russians to compete internationally after a panel examined their drug-testing history. Russia is allowed to send a maximum of 10 track and field athletes to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Maria Lasitskene won the women’s high jump while Angelica Sidorova took silver in the pole vault.
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