MONACO (AP) – Russia’s doping suspension in athletics was extended for a seventh year on Wednesday, with cautious praise for reformers and a warning that not everyone supports their changes.
World Athletics voted to maintain the suspension, first imposed in November 2015, at its convention. The sport’s governing body did not give a breakdown of vote totals.
The vote followed a presentation by the head of the World Athletics task force overseeing Russia’s reforms, Rune Andersen. He wrote in a report that there is a “new culture” within the struggling Russian athletics federation known as RusAF.
The federation is under new management after former president Dmitry Shlyakhtin and four other officials were banned for obstructing an anti-doping investigation of a top athlete by presenting false medical documents. Russia was hoping the ban would be lifted in 2019 before this case pushed the country back on the verge of being completely kicked out of World Athletics.
“RusAF has made steady progress in meeting the conditions set for his recovery as a member of World Athletics,” Andersen wrote in his report. “The task force believes that these changes reflect a new culture within RusAF, one that generally seeks to reject the doping practices of the past and engage in clean competition to move forward.”
However, some figures in Russian athletics are resisting the change, he warned.
“There are still people in Russian athletics who have not embraced this new culture, and there is still a lot of work to be done for RusAF to ensure that they do not exert influence, and rather it is the new generation of athletes and coaches who are pushing Russian athletics forward, ”Andersen wrote.
Andersen added that Russian officials had agreed that there would be further testing going on after the suspension was lifted, and that RusAF was paying for more doping tests in athletics due to “concerns” about the Russian anti-doping agency. , which remains under control. separate suspension from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
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