From Inside the Game

Russia’s suspended track and field athletes look increasingly likely to remain out in the cold during next summer’s International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in London, according to new details from the world governing body’s Taskforce’s latest report.

In maintaining the current suspension at least until next February, the IAAF Taskforce head Rune Andersen told Council on Thursday (December 1) that there could be no change until the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), currently suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), had been reinstated.

“Discussions are ongoing between WADA and the Russian authorities on a roadmap for RUSADA to begin operations again as a fully compliant NADO hopefully before the end of 2017,” he said.

That timeline does not chime in with the statements made from the Russian side shortly before Andersen announced the “key remaining issue” – that Russia has yet to provide convincing evidence that anti-doping procedures within its borders can be conducted effectively and without interference.

The Russian news agency TASS reported Deputy Minister for Sport, Vitaly Mutko, as saying: “I hope that the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) will be reinstated by the start of the spring season.”

ARAF has since been re-named the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeared to back that position up when he said in his annual state of the nation address that the country’s new anti-doping programme will be ready in early 2017 as the nation battles to clean up its scandal-tainted image.

“Every cloud has a silver lining,” Putin said.

The silver lining for individual Russian athletes would appear to be a broadening pathway to major competition which lies open via the IAAF’s International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP), set up in March, according to documents presented by Andersen to the IAAF Council and obtained by insidethegames.

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