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Russians making progress but ban won't be lifted before December

Athletics

By Robert Jones

Russia will remain banned from world athletics until December at the earliest, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been suspended by the IAAF since November 2015, after the World Anti-Doping Agency investigated allegations of widespread doping.

The IAAF council has said RusAF is making "significant progress" towards meeting the requirements laid out for it in order to have its ban lifted, saying it is "in some cases going above and beyond what was required".

But the world athletics governing body said RusAF's ban will remain in place at least until the council next meets in December.

The IAAF's Russia Taskforce chair Rune Andersen said the scandal-hit federation must meet all costs incurred by the world body and of associated cases taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, while the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) must also be reinstated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

In relation to the latter aspect, the IAAF said WADA is hoping for a breakthrough at its executive committee meeting in September. Crucially, Russia must acknowledge findings from investigations that showed the country's doping conspiracy was state-sponsored.

Russians are not universally banned from elite competition, however, with 74 competitors cleared to compete as authorised neutral athletes this year.

A further 68 have been refused permission by the IAAF.

Belfast Telegraph

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