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The 126-member World Athletics Council Wednesday, voted in favour to continue the Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) suspension. The Council feels that RAF has not met all of the reinstatement requirements. Eighteen delegates voted against the continuation while 34 abstained.

*Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) was previously, “All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF).

“Athletics is very important for Russia. The Russian Athletics Federation enjoys strong support from the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation and the Russian Olympic Committee on our path to rejoining the global athletics family,” said RusAF acting President Irina Privalova.

RAF has apparently made some efforts to improve their lot. This includes following through on the weekly and monthly reports to World Athletics. However, they have continued, since the start of the original suspension in 2015, to fail as controversies have dogged the beleaguered organization.

Rune Anderson not so sure about RUSADA

Run Anderson, the head of the World Athletics Russia Taskforce Group, said in his previous address to the Congress that “RAF establishes a culture of zero tolerance towards doping in Russian athletics. RAF, and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), and the public authorities in Russia work together to create an effective anti-doping infrastructure that allows them and World Athletics to work effectively on anti-doping activities in Russia and in respect of Russian athletes.”

However, Anderson said Wednesday, “it is not clear, however, whether those reinstatement conditions are being met or whether RUSADA is able to perform its role as the independent Russian NADO (National Anti-Doping Organisation) effectively.

“In the meantime, to try to help fill the gap, RAF agreed with the Athletics Integrity Unit’s demand to conduct extra testing of RAF’s athletes, at RAF’s cost.”

Andersen added in the report to World Athletics Congress. He said, “that the suspension of RAF will continue until Council decides that all of the conditions set by Council from time to time for the revocation of RusAF’s suspension and the consequent reinstatement of RAF’s membership have been met.”

The RAF, RUSADA and individuals both competing and in administration continue to fall down in a comedy of errors, data and documentation manipulation, cheating, cover-ups and malfeasance.