© Copyright – 2020 -Athletics Illustrated
In a desperate attempt to score, whether it be a touchdown, goal, try, basket, or a date, a Hail Mary attempt leaves most of the chance of success to exactly that: chance. Good luck to the All Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) in their attempt to avoid complete expulsion.
RusAF saved themselves from expulsion, for now, and the ability to compete internationally, with an 11th-hour Hail Mary guarantee that they will pay $6.31 million of their $10 million fine owed to World Athletics. Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin made the plea this week guaranteeing payment by Aug. 15.
RusAF Acting President Alexei Plotnikov confirmed the Reinstatement Commission will have a meeting next week to address the issue.
“We have enormous work ahead,” he Russian news agency TASS.
“We held the first reinstatement commission meeting on July 27, when the decision was made to draft a detailed plan for RusAF to steer clear out of the crisis and submit it to World Athletics for approval. We will discuss the draft of this vital document at the second meeting, which should take place Aug. 7.”
The World Athletics Council accepted Matytsin’s guarantee which was recommended by Rune Andersen, who is head of the task force that is helping Russia return to competition. RusAF has been suspended since 2015.
Two weeks ago, independent athletes (able to compete under a neutral flag), pleaded with Russian President to intervene by publishing an open letter.
RusAF failed to meet the deadline to pay the first installment of $6-million of the $10-million (USD) fine.
In response, WADA cancelled the neutral athlete program, where a predetermined number of athletes would be permitted to compete under the Olympic or neutral flag as they were considered clean — not anymore.
RusAF President Yevgeny Yurchenko handed in his resignation on July 14, after just six months on the job because of the failure to pay that $6-million installment to World Athletics.
“I hope that the newly elected head of the All-Russian Athletics Federation will be able to move forward in resolving almost five-year difficulties in relations with World Athletics, and will also ensure that sufficient funding is raised for the development of the Federation,” he said.