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IAAF upholds Russia's ban from athletics into 2019

Sebastian Coe and Rune Andersen

Russian athletes will remain banned from international competitions after the IAAF upheld the country’s suspension into 2019.

Athletics’ governing body banned Russia in November 2015 because of evidence of state-sponsored doping.

The ban will remain in place until samples and data from Moscow’s former anti-doping laboratory are made available.

Russia must also pay all costs incurred by the work of the IAAF’s task force.

“I hope they’ll deliver the data by the end of this year,” said Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF’s task force on Russia. “But I cannot go any further than that.

“We’ve received no assurances it will be delivered to us directly.

“Assurances have been given to Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) and Wada have set a deadline of December 31 to receive the data. We’ll have to rely on receiving the data from Wada before handing it to the AIU (Athletics Integrity Unit).”

It is the ninth time the IAAF has turned down Russia’s appeal for reinstatement.

The decision puts the IAAF at odds with other sporting bodies such as Wada and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who have revoked their own suspensions of Russia.

In February, Russia’s Olympic membership was restored following its suspension from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, while Wada lifted its three-year ban in September.

The ruling means Russian athletes will not be able to compete under their own flag at the European Indoor Championships in February.

However, athletes who have met the IAAF doping review board’s drug-testing criteria will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag in Glasgow.

More than 70 Russian athletes competed as neutrals at the European Championships in Berlin in August.

On Tuesday, the IAAF also announced the 2023 World Athletics Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary.

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BBC Sport – Athletics

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