‘Russian athletes can’t participate at Rio without IAAF’s permission’

Moscow, June 1 (IANS) Russia can’t take part at Rio Olympics unless the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) restores the country’s membership, president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) Dmitry Shlyakhtin said on Wednesday.

The BBC reported earlier that the officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were actively discussing the possibility of a compromise decision that would allow Russian athletes to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if Russia’s IAAF membership was not restored, reports Tass.

“We won’t be able to participate, if we’re not readmitted into the IAAF. Under legislation, our federation must be accredited,” Shlyakhtin said.

“All international starts are authorised through accreditation of the international federation,” the athletics chief added.

The independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on November 9 the results of its probe into the activities of the all-Russian Athletics Federation, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian sports ministry.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory subsequently suspended their activities, while WADA’s Board of Founders approved the decision of the agency’s independent committee that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.

IAAF said at its council meeting in November that a report prepared by ARAF on the struggle against doping was unsatisfactory and decided by a majority of votes to suspend Russia’s membership in the international athletics association.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko travelled on November 25-26 to Germany’s Frankfurt, where he met with the administration of WADA, and a road map on the settlement of the current situation was drafted as a result of that meeting.

The WADA independent commission was set up and began its work earlier, following a series of German documentaries on the alleged mass use of performance enhancing drugs among Russia’s field and track athletes.

The IAAF will make a final decision on the ARAF’s membership at its council meeting on June 17.

The Olympic Games in Brazil will be held from August 5 to 21.



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