IAAF: Russia Doping Ban Still In Force, Tokyo 2020 Entry Standards Out

Mar 11 - by IAAF for SportPesa News

World athletics governing body also approves plans to revamp the Diamond League from next year at Council Meeting in Doha, Qatar

Qatar 2019 IAAF World Championships, Vice-President, Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari star athlete Mutaz Essa Barshim and IAAF President Sebastian Coe (right). PHOTO/AFP

  • The Taskforce chairman Rune Andersen reported to the IAAF Council meeting in Doha that two key issues remain outstanding for reinstatement of RusAF that include payment of the outstanding costs. RusAF has raised some logistical issues about payment. The IAAF will get these resolved shortly
  • In the first session of the two-day meeting, HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani welcomed the IAAF Council to Doha, which will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships from September 27 to October 6 this year
  • Russia was banned from international competition by the IAAF in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympics following reports of widespread and systematic doping among her athletes

DOHA, Qatar- The IAAF Council announced Monday that there had been no change in status of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) that remains banned from international competition over doping.

The Taskforce chairman Rune Andersen reported to the IAAF Council meeting in Doha that two key issues remain outstanding for reinstatement of RusAF that include payment of the outstanding costs. RusAF has raised some logistical issues about payment. The IAAF will get these resolved shortly.

Receipt of the analytical data and any samples that the Athletics Integrity Unit needs from the Moscow lab in order to determine which athletes have a case to answer under the IAAF anti-doping rules.

The data is currently being processed and authenticated by the World Anti Doping Agency that is committed to getting it to the former as a priority.

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The Taskforce also took note of the allegation from German television network ARD that some coaches from the old regime are involved again with coaching national team athletes. 

"This runs counter to assurances the Taskforce has previously received from RusAF that it is disassociating itself from the old regime. The Taskforce will be asking RusAF for urgent clarification," a statement from the IAAF said.

At the same time, the Council approved the qualification system and entry standards for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the timetables for three World Athletics Series events to be held in 2020.

In the first session of the two-day meeting, HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani welcomed the IAAF Council to Doha, which will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships from September 27 to October 6 this year.

World Class

HE Sheikh Joaan, the president of the Local Organising Committee, emphasised his and the country's commitment to staging a world-class athletics championship in Doha later this year.

He also reiterated the work the Doha 2019 Organising Committee is undertaking to put operational plans in place and prepare for the Asian Athletics Championships in April, which will be a test event for the World Championships

Athletes will have more opportunities to achieve the Olympic entry standards under the new system, which extends the qualification window by two months for most events.

This will start on 1 May 2019 (instead of 1 July 2019), to include more international competitions such as the IAAF Diamond League, and end on 29 June 2020.

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The qualification period for the marathon and 50km race walk will close at the end of May 2020 (instead of June 29), to give the qualified athletes more time to prepare specifically for the Games.

As the IAAF Diamond League heads into its 10th year, the IAAF Diamond League Board and Meeting Directors, together with the IAAF have been reviewing the future of the Diamond League from 2020 onwards.

Meanwhile, the IAAF Council approved the core principles set out and agreed by the Diamond League Board and meeting directors at their General Assembly two weeks ago.

The goal of the year-long review, which included detailed research and discussions with athletes, coaches, fans and broadcasters, was to bring together the very best one day meetings in a high quality annual international circuit which gives athletes a compelling and rewarding reason to compete.

This is besides; a more consistent, action packed format for broadcasters and provides fans with a persuasive reason to come back to the sport week in and week out to follow the star athletes as they gain points to qualify for an exciting end of season final.

“The IAAF Diamond League is the way millions of sports fans engage with athletics on a top level every year. It is a strong circuit that is celebrating its 10th year but we can make it even stronger and more relevant to the world our athletes and our fans live in today,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

MUST READ: IAAF Maintains Decision On Russia's Athletics Ban

Russia was banned from international competition by the IAAF in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympics following reports of widespread and systematic doping among her athletes.

Since then, the world athletics governing body has cleared some of the nation's athlete to compete under the neutral flag.