Tuesday, June 18, 2019 | ePaper
Russia again in spotlight as IAAF wrestles with Semenya case
Doping-tainted Russia will learn on Sunday whether it has met the criteria set by athletics' governing body the IAAF to be reintegrated in world track and field.
Banned in November 2015 because of evidence of mass state-sponsored doping, Russia has failed to have its ban overturned 10 times.
Dozens of Russian athletes cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), however, have competed as neutrals.
While US-based long jumper Darya Klishina was the sole Russian athlete cleared to participate at the 2016 Rio Olympics, 74 Russian athletes competed as neutrals last year and 68 have been cleared since the start of 2019. The IAAF, led by two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist Sebastian Coe, has been the stand-out sporting body to put its foot down in the wake of the doping scandal, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) having both reintegrated Russia. Rumour has it that Russia, a giant in the track and field world, is now closer than ever to getting the green light from the IAAF for its reintegration.
The body's Task Force, charged with investigating the scandal, wants 2.8 millions euros repaid by the Russians for its work as well as access to the Moscow laboratory at the heart of the doping scandal between 2011-15.
The two are close to being resolved.
On April 30, WADA announced that analysis of data taken from the Moscow lab in January was "almost finished" before being sent to the Athletics Integrity unit (AIU), a watchdog founded by the IAAF to combat doping in the sport. And Russian athletics federation chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin said on June 2 that the Task Force costs had been met. "We should be heading towards accepting them back in," said Frenchman Bernard Amsalem, a member of the 27-strong IAAF council that will vote on Sunday. "We've come to the end of the procedure. Things must now return to normal."