Russia ‘banned’ from IAAF World Indoor Championships

Decision over lifting of Russia’s ban from international competition to take place after next year’s World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon

No Russian athletes will appear at next year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships.

Russia has effectively been banned from next year’s World Indoor Championships after it was confirmed a decision over lifting its suspension from international athletics would not be taken until the end of March.

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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced the first details of the criteria that will be used to judge whether the All-Russia Athletics Federation (Araf) regains membership of the governing body in time for next summer’s Olympics.

epa05023809 (FILE) A file picture dated 23 February 2014 of the Olympic flag (R) and the Russian flag (L) during the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia. Athletics ruling body IAAF on 13 November 2015 provisionally suspended Russian from its federation in a move barring it from international track and field events. The suspension is for an indefinite period and could include next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  EPA/KAY NIETFELD *** Local Caption *** 51254472

The IAAF confirmed an inspection team appointed to monitor Russia’s adherence to that criteria would begin its work on January 1 and would not report back until its council meeting on March 27 at the earliest.

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That is after the World Indoors – the second biggest global athletics event of 2016 – which take place in Portland, Oregon between March 17-20 and which Russia’s sports minister had been confident his country would be at.

That was after Araf was provisionally suspended last week over sport’s biggest ever drugs scandal, one which saw Russia accused of state-sponsored doping which “sabotaged” the London Olympics.

IAAF president Lord Coe said: “The verification criteria must be robust, otherwise the inspection process will fail.

“Repeating past failings which have brought Araf to their current position is not an option. To succeed, this process must guarantee a level playing field and thereby re-establish confidence in the integrity of competition.”

The IAAF confirmed Araf’s qualification for membership would be verified by an inspection team led by Rune Andersen, based on criteria decided upon in consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

The five principles by which that criteria is drawn up were published yesterday by the IAAF.

They included Russia sanctioning anyone guilty of wrongdoing, ending its culture of ‘Omerta’ and creating a framework for the reporting of doping, examining criminalising the distribution and trafficking of prohibited substances, implementing a robust, transparent and efficient anti-doping testing programme, and ensuring compliance with the Wada code.

Coe added: ”The establishment of these guiding principles with the approval of the inspection team’s independent chair Rune Andersen establish a clear path upon which the verification criteria will be established.

“For the protection of all clean athletes, there cannot be any timeframe for Araf’s return until we are assured all criteria have been fully met and will continue to be met forever.”

The IAAF added in a statement: “It is planned that the Inspection team mission will commence the verification process no later than 1 January 2016 with a first report back at the earliest to the IAAF council at their meeting in Cardiff on 27 March 2016.”




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