(ATR) The international federation for athletics may have changed its name from the IAAF to World Athletics, but Russian doping issues remain front and center.
On the eve of the first Council meeting under the new World Athletics name, the federation's independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Thursday charged the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) with serious breaches of the Anti-Doping Rules, including the failure to cooperate with an investigation and obstructing an investigation.
The charges follow a 15-month investigation by the AIU, in cooperation with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), which concluded that RusAF officials had been involved in the providing false explanations and forged documents to the AIU in order to explain whereabouts failures by high jumper Danil Lysenko.
A number of senior federation officials, including RusAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin and Executive Director Alexander Parkin, along with Lysenko and his coach have been charged with tampering and/or complicity and been provisionally suspended.
RusAF, which has been suspended from the membership of World Athletics since November 2015, has been issued a notice of charge for failing to comply with its obligations as a Member Federation. RusAF has until Dec. 12 to respond to the notice following which the AIU Board may refer the matter to the World Athletics Council to be determined in accordance with the Anti-Doping Rules.
The Council at its last meeting in September unanimously voted to keep RusAF suspended, citing two previous requirements for reinstatement having not been met. In addition, the World Anti-Doping Agency had just announced it had opened compliance proceedings against RUSADA after discrepancies were found in the data from a Moscow laboratory that RUSADA had handed over to WADA in January.
WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) met on Nov. 17 to consider a report from the Agency’s Intelligence and Investigations Department (I&I) and independent forensic experts and decided to bring a formal recommendation to the WADA Executive Committee. The ExCo is scheduled to meet on Dec. 9 to discuss the recommendation.
Rune Andersen, who chairs the World Athletics taskforce on Russia, said in September that AIU investigations into the data were still ongoing, leaving another of the requirements for Russian reinstatement on hold.
Written by Gerard Farek
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