Russia’s Olympic Games participation set to be determined in June

Ross McLean
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SportAccord - Day 3
Lord Coe initially said a decision on Russia would be made in May (Source: Getty)

Crisis-hit Russia will only learn if the ban on its athletes is to be lifted in time for this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro less than two months before the start of the Games.

World governing body the IAAF announced yesterday that a decision on whether Russia has made enough progress in resolving its anti-doping mechanisms is set to be taken at its next council meeting on 17 June. The Rio Olympics start on 5 August.

That date gives Russia longer than expected to prove its anti-doping operation, accused of being complicit in the state-sponsored and widespread use of banned substances, has been sufficiently reformed. IAAF president Lord Coe initially said a decision was expected in May.

“We were expecting this, now we will continue to work together with the IAAF working group,” said Mikhail Butov, general secretary of the Russian Athletics Federation.

“A massive amount of work has already been done, but there is still a lot ahead of us.”

Russia this week stepped up efforts to showcase a cleaner athletics following its suspension in November by the IAAF after a bombshell report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Their anti-doping system will be overseen by two independent experts, while all track and field competitors hoping to take part in the Olympics are to be subjected to a minimum of three independently-administered anti-doping tests before the Games.