Inside The Games

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe has held his first meeting with Dmitry Shlyakhtin, new head of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF).

It was the first time the two sides had met since the election of Shlyakhtin as President of the ARAF last month.

The Minister of Sport of the Samara Oblast region was elected unanimously at a special ARAF meeting on January 16.

Shlyakhtin has to try to persuade the IAAF to lift the suspension imposed on Russia following the publication of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report last November.

The Commission, chaired by the International Olympic Committtee’s most senior member Richard Pound, claimed Russia’s athletes were part of a state-supported system.

A Taskforce chaired by Norway’s Rune Andersen has now been set-up by the IAAF to monitor changes to Russia’s anti-doping programme and will advise the world governing body on whether the suspension should be lifted in time for them to compete at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Shlyakhtin briefed Coe and Jean Gracia, the IAAF’s interim general secretary, during the meeting on Friday (February 12) for about an hour.

“In the course of the meeting both parties discussed various matters related to the current situation in Russian athletics and ways of bringing it out of crisis,” the ARAF said in a statement sent to insidethegames.

“Dmitry Shlyakhtin informed IAAF leaders about the measures that have already been taken in order to reform Russia Athletics activity.

“He mentioned that this process required a thorough and well planned activity and could not be solved within one day.

“The ARAF President mentioned that he was in close contact with Rune Andersen, who was well aware about the changes that have already happened in Russian Athletics.”

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