IAAF extends Russia doping ban from international competition to 2017.

The Athletics’ world governing body IAAF voted on Thursday to extend Russia’s doping ban from international competitions.

The country has been suspended by the IAAF since November 2015 over a massive doping and corruption scandal uncovered by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and missed the Rio Olympics after the ban was twice extended in March and June of this year.

Although Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF Taskforce, reported that Russia’s athletics federation (RusAF) has made further progress towards satifsying the reinstatement conditions as of June, the 207th IAAF council meeting still concluded that they are not ready to return to competition.

According to Andersen, the RusAF’s progress includes rolling out anti-doping edducation modules for coaches and athletes, securing cooperation between Russian criminal authorities and their French counterparts, and the Russian parliament passing a new law criminalizing the supply of prohibited substances to athletes.

“One of the key remaining issues is how to demonstrate that the IAAF and RUSADA (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency), once it is reinstated, will be able to conduct their anti-doping programme in Russia without outside interference,” said Andersen.

His independant team will return to Moscow in January, after Canadian law professor Richard McLaren delivers his final report into Russia’s doping program due on Dec. 9, and reports back to February’s IAAF Council meeting.

Andersen said that when the taskforce makes its next report in February it hoped “to be able to identify a clear road map and timetable for RusAF’s reinstatement.”

In the meantime, Russian athletes can still apply to the IAAF doping review board to compete individually if they have been subject to robust testing.

The next major international track and field event for Russians is the European Indoor Championships to be held from March 3-5 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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