World Athletics president Sebastian Coe. EPA/Lisi Niesner
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe. EPA/Lisi Niesner

World Athletics to expel Russia's federation if fine unpaid by August 15

By Reuters Time of article published Jul 30, 2020

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MOSCOW - The global governing body for athletics said on Thursday it would expel Russia's federation, suspended since 2015 for having broken anti-doping rules, if it fails to pay a hefty fine before August 15.

On Tuesday, Russia's suspended athletics federation (RusAF) asked World Athletics to postpone a decision on potential fresh sanctions or even expulsion.

In a letter seen by Reuters, RusAF appealed to World Athletics not to rule on its fate at the Council meeting this week.

"Taking into account the work we have already done and our good faith intentions to continue this work, we very much hope that the Council will be able to consider the possibility of postponing the decision on the RusAF case to a later date and continue our cooperation on resolving this matter," said the letter, which was dated July 28 and signed by Alexey Plotnikov, the federation's first vice president.

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However, Rune Andersen, chair of the taskforce overseeing Russia's reinstatement efforts, said it had received a guarantee from Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin that a payment of $6.31 million, which includes a fine and other costs, would be made before mid-August. The federation had missed the initial deadline of July 1.

The missed deadline prompted World Athletics to halt the process by which Russian athletes competing in a doping-free environment can be cleared to compete internationally as neutrals.

The expulsion, which would have to be approved by the World Athletics Congress when it convenes next year, would see Russian athletes sidelined from international competitions, including those who had previously been authorized to compete as neutrals.


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