World Athletics president Seb Coe has said that Russia’s seven-year doping ban has been lifted, but restrictions due to the Ukraine invasion remain.
An investigation uncovered widespread state-sponsored doping was present across many disciplines in Russia and the country was banned from having athletes compete under the Russian flag unless they were categorically, in no way, shape or form, related to the doping scandal.
Now, ahead of this summer’s World Athletics Championships and next year’s Paris Olympics, Seb Coe has confirmed that the World Athletics Council has agreed to reinstall the Russian Athletics Federation.
Russia invasion illegal
The country, however, alongside Belarus, will not be able to compete in World Athletics events for the “foreseeable future” due to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
A row has been unfolding among sporting bodies – including the International Olympic Committee – over whether Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete at next year’s Games in the French Capital.
British Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has written to sponsors asking whether they’d reconsider their deals should athletes from the two countries compete in Paris.
Russian President Vladimir Putin took a swipe earlier this week at the UK over its lobbying for a ban for Russians.
“Western countries are trying to use sports for unseemly purposes as a tool of pressure,” the Russian president told news agency TASS.
Putin and Xi also praised recent suggestions from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the ban on Russian athletes could be lifted before the Paris 2024 Games.
“The parties welcome the relevant initiatives and decisions of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Asia, which jointly uphold Olympic values,” they said in a statement.
“The parties oppose the politicisation of sports, and hope to use the unique role of physical culture and sports to promote solidarity and peace.”