Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Russia, IAAF set for suspension clash

Published:Wednesday | February 8, 2017 | 2:00 AM
IAAF president Sebastian Coe.

MOSCOW (AP):

Russian athletics looked set for conflict with the IAAF over doping even as the government admitted on Tuesday that some top coaches relied on giving banned substances to their athletes.

The IAAF, on Monday, said Russia would probably not be reinstated to global athletics until at least November, extending a ban first imposed in November 2015. That means there won't be an official Russia team at the World Championships in August, though there may be "neutral" athletes competing.

A new IAAF road map obliges the All-Russian Athletics Federation to confront World Anti-Doping Agency allegations that the Russian state oversaw a vast cover-up of drug use, either by accepting them or "convincingly rebutting those findings".

state-backed

ARAF first vice-president Andrei Silnov ruled out an admission that Russian doping was state-backed.

"There are no facts there, just assertions, and we're gradually proving that it's not a state structure, a system, that kind of thing," he told The Associated Press.

A former Olympic high jump champion, Silnov said whistle-blowers about doping in Russia were motivated by money, questioned claims that Russia had "a culture of doping," and suggested the IAAF was unfairly slowing down Russia's reinstatement.

"The criteria we have, we fulfil. We fulfil them and there's a new set," he said. "The process goes on and on."

Silnov held a news conference alongside former long jump world record-holder Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, who said East German athletes' steroid-fuelled successes during the Cold War should be seen as legitimate products of "good pharmacology," rather than condemned as doping. Silnov did not challenge the claim.

Following a council meeting, the IAAF laid out conditions for Russia to return to competition, including the reinstatement of the national drug-testing agency, which remains suspended over various allegations of covering up doping. That isn't considered likely to happen until November.