Russia are set to be banned from this summer’s World Championships in London after athletics governing body the IAAF voted to extend the country’s suspension from international competition for state-sponsored doping.
The IAAF unanimously opted to prolong the ban, which was initially introduced in November 2015, on the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) at a council meeting in Monaco.
Rune Andersen, the independent chairman of the IAAF taskforce, confirmed that RUSAF would not be reinstated until the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was fully compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada). Russia is not expected to be fully reintegrated until November.
“The road map that I outlined clearly states that there will be no reinstatement until RUSADA is functioning and presumably if everything goes to plan there will be a full reinstatement by November 2017,” said Andersen.
“This means Russia as a nation, or RUSAF, is not recommended by us to be reinstated before that time.”
The taskforce stated that concerns still persist over drug-testing procedures in Russia, who were suspended from competing at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Russian athletes, however, could be allowed to compete at the World Championships, which take place between 4-13 August, under a neutral banner. IAAF president Lord Coe revealed he has received 35 such applications.
“We have always been at pains to provide an opportunity for athletes who demonstrate they are from a clean system, where we are comfortable that the registered testing pool is a valid one, and that they are under international supervision,” said Coe.
“But most importantly, we are not going to jeopardise the opportunities and the chances of clean athletes who are competing alongside them. We always felt that this is a proportionate response.”
In a Wada-commissioned report published in December, more than 1,000 Russian athletes were found to be part of a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015.