Nanjing World Indoor Championships postponed due to coronavirus fears; Russia may be expelled

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The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has called for the expulsion of the Russian Athletics Federation because of what the AIU call, “a total lack of contrition.” in their response to anti-doping violations.

They were initially suspended in 2015 after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found that there was evidence of systematic doping.

In November 2019, the worldwide governing body World Athletics (formerly IAAF) denied Russia’s reinstatement and recommended that Russian continue to be suspended.

On Wednesday, the AIU released a statement saying that the Russian Federation had not put up any material or evidence to defend the case put forward by the AIU. This, after three extensions were granted.

Additionally, the Russians are currently appealing charges that they tampered with data from their Moscow Laboratory, after causing several delays by keeping WADA from accessing the central lab implicated in the systematic doping charges.

Meanwhile, Russia is in the process of appealing a four-year ban from competing under its flag at global competitions including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

World Indoor Championships – Nanjing

The March, 13-15 World Athletics Indoor Championships have been postponed due to fears that the coronavirus may be a danger. They will take place at least 12-months later.

The recommendation for the postponement came from the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus has been blamed in the deaths of at least 130 people in China and has spread to nearly 20 countries. Globally over 6,000 people have been infected – there is no vaccine at this time.

In a statement, they said, “We considered the possibility of relocating the event to another country and would like to thank the cities that have volunteered to host the championships.”