LONDON – The IAAF is not ready to lift Russia’s suspension from track and field competitions as the country fails to fully accept the findings of an investigation into its state-sponsored doping scheme.
The meeting of IAAF member associations in London on Thursday will be asked to maintain the ban on Russia that was imposed in 2015 after World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren exposed how failed drug tests were covered up.
Rune Andersen, the IAAF’s Russia task force chairman, wants assurances that the McLaren report’s findings “have been properly acknowledged and addressed, and there will be no repetition.”
The Russian athletics federation “has not yet demonstrated to the satisfaction of the taskforce that it has established a strong anti-doping culture within its sport, or that it has created an open environment that encourages whistleblowing,” Andersen added in a report Monday to the IAAF Council.
Andersen acknowledged that Russia is making progress in cleaning up its doping culture, including “satisfactory cooperation” with French criminal authorities, but says action is still required in key areas.
A “small number” of athletics disciplinary cases that were ongoing in 2015 remain unresolved, a “few” athletes flagged up in WADA’s doping investigation are yet to be interviewed, and there are concerns about banned coaches still working in the sport.
The only Russians competing at the world championships in London, which begin Friday, are those cleared to compete as neutrals after the IAAF assessed their history of drug testing.
The 19 athletes given exemptions include three former world champions, but they won’t be allowed to wear national colors and the Russian anthem won’t be played if they win gold.