Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

IAAF made harsh but fair decision suspending Russia's membership - Russian official

Sir Mo Farah will not have his coach and mentor Alberto Salazar by his side at London 2017 Sir Mo Farah will not have his coach and mentor Alberto Salazar by his side at London 2017
Spencer Simpson | 05 August, 2017, 00:20

"I have had this conversation with the leadership of the Council of African Athletics (CAA)".

"Suspension of the Russian athletes from all worldwide competitions was a harsh decision, but we accepted it, as we understood the inevitability of such a step and the need to say stop to doping and corruption", the RusAF chief stated.

He then listed the changes RusAF has made in terms of personnel, the athletes and coaches it has disqualified and the cooperation it has given to the French and Russian criminal investigations into the bribery and doping scandals.

Rune Andersen, the chairman of the independent Task Force put in place by the IAAF to judge of the progress of Russia in the fight against doping, has also welcomed the statements of the Russian officer.

"He understands the harm that culture has cost clean athletes everywhere as the apology he just extended to those cheated out of medals demonstrates. It is an important step on the way to the rehabilitation of Russian athletes".

Although some semblance of a Russian squad is returning to the worldwide stage after missing last year's Rio Olympics, Russian athletes in London will be barred from wearing their country's symbols and colours, down to hairbands and nail polish.

Athletes who live, train or hail from or and Southwest Washington will be well represented at the world championships, with more than 30 getting set to compete for either Team USA or their home country.

Farah, originally from Somalia, has dominated the 10,000 meter race in the last six years, and only narrowly lost the title to Ethiopian runner Ibrahim Jeilan in the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, reports Efe.

Coe has confirmed that 19 Russian athletes were in London to compete at the worlds.

"Taking all this into account, the decision of the IAAF Council on the suspension of our Federation from the IAAF membership was probably a forced measure".

A total of 166 people at the IAAF Congress voted in favor of extending the suspension term for the ARAF, while only 21 voted against.

Andersen insisted that the timeline of a Russian return to worldwide action in November was possible.

About a date for the reinstatement of the Russian federation, Mr. Andersen said that the fate of the country "was in his own hands".

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