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Coe meets with Russian athletics chief to discuss doping ban

Published:Monday | February 15, 2016 | 2:00 AM

MOSCOW (AP):

IAAF President Sebastian Coe has met with the new head of the Russian athletics federation, which was banned from world track and field in November over doping.

The Russian Federation said yesterday that Coe and Dmitry Shlyakhtin met on Friday in Monaco and discussed "Russian athletics and the way to lead it out of the crisis".

"I was pleased to meet with the new president of Russian athletics," Coe said in comments provided by the International Association of Athletics Federations. "We held a wide-ranging conversation, including, of course, the current position that Russia finds itself in."

An IAAF task force monitoring Russia's compliance with reform demands is due to visit Russia today and tomorrow. Coe said he thanked (Shlyakhtin) "for his cooperation" with the task force.

According to the Russian Federation, Shlyakhtin briefed Coe on Friday about reforms in Russian track and field, saying that they are "an issue that can't be solved in one day and which requires systematic and painstaking work".

Shlyakhtin, a former coach and regional politician, was elected last month.

Russia's head coach, Yuri Borzakovsky, said he was "sure" that the ban would be lifted in time for the Olympics in August. Russian athletes "are in a cage now, and when they get out, they'll rip everyone apart", he added.

Russia was suspended from competition, including the Olympics, after a World Anti-Doping Agency commission accused it of operating a systematic and state-sponsored programme of drug use by star athletes.