London - Russia
remains banned from international track and field competition after the
IAAF ruled on Monday that it had not made sufficient progress in its
anti-doping fight to merit reinstatement.
Russia was accused in a World Anti-Doping Agency report last year of
widespread state-sponsored doping. Its athletics team was barred from
last summer's Rio Olympics and will also miss the IAAF World
Championships that get under way in London on Friday.
A number of Russian athletes, however, have been granted permission
by the IAAF to compete as neutrals after meeting the exceptional
eligibility criteria, essentially demonstrating that they've come
through transparent anti-doping testing.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe confirmed that 19 Russian athletes were in London to compete at the worlds.
But the country remains excluded as a whole after the Council of the
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), meeting in
London, voted unanimously to maintain the ban on the Russian Athletics
"The report has been unanimously approved by the Council," confirmed
Rune Andersen, independent chairman of the IAAF Taskforce looking into
doping in Russia.
"Material progress has been made but there are still issues that need
to be resolved" in terms of reaching several of the conditions
established by Council for reinstatement of RusAF to IAAF membership.
Those conditions have not yet been met in full, and several important steps remain outstanding, he said.
"I can confirm that our impression is that they really want to meet all the criteria that has been set," Andersen insisted.
"We need to work with Russia, RusAF and the authorities to remedy (the problems) and meet the criteria.
"The main issue is that no meaningful testing is being conducted."
The Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA), which Andersen said used to
carry out 19,000 tests a year - a figure currently down to a couple of
thousand - is also "still not code compliant (with WADA)... it needs to
There has been an evident culture of change, Andersen added, "but they haven't demonstrated that this is in place".
The Norwegian also said that Russian authorities have still not
acknowledged the McLaren report that pointed the finger at the
state-sponsored doping. "That needs to be resolved," he said.
"We haven't outlined in details to RusAF or Russian authority on how
they deal with this acknowledgement or possible rebuttal of the findings
in the McLaren report," said Andersen.
"I think that needs to be delivered by the Russians.
"It's difficult to get an excuse, but we need some sort of an
explanation on how they deal with this report in the most effective
Andersen, who stuck with the timeline of a Russian return to
international action in November, said the report was "not something
they put away and say it was falsified" as they have done in the past
"from the very top level down". "We'll see how we move forward on that."