World Athletics to warn Matytsin of dangers if Russian officials continue to deny doping claims

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From Inside the Games

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is to write to Russia’s new Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin warning him that his country’s athletes will not be allowed to compete at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo unless its sport’s leaders admit charges of breaking anti-doping rules.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) yesterday recommended that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) be expelled from World Athletics after failing to satisfactorily answer allegations that senior officials had obstructed an investigation into whereabouts violations committed by world indoor high jump silver medallist Danil Lysenko.

Another key recommendation was that the suspension of the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) process is maintained until charges against RusAF are fully investigated.

That would condemn Russia’s top athletes to missing the Olympics for a second consecutive Games having also been banned – apart from long jumper Darya Klishina – from Rio 2016 following a suspension imposed in November 2015 after allegations of state-sponsored doping.

“If they maintain their current ‘blanket denials’ approach, we will put all necessary resource into presenting the charges to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport),” World Athletics said in a statement.

“[The World Athletics] Council will not consider any applications for ‘authorised neutral athlete’ status in the meantime.”

If, however, RusAF and its former President Dmitry Shlyakhtin admit the charges they have promised to introduce a new process to reintroduce the ANA scheme.

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