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IAAF Sets Criteria to Reinstate Russian Athletes After Doping Scandal

  • Associated Press

FILE: IAAF President Sebastian Coe says Russia ‘must demonstrate verifiable change’ before its athletes can compete internationally. He's shown at the organization's World Championships in Beijing, Aug. 29, 2015.

FILE: IAAF President Sebastian Coe says Russia ‘must demonstrate verifiable change’ before its athletes can compete internationally. He's shown at the organization's World Championships in Beijing, Aug. 29, 2015.

Russian track and field athletes must endure extra doping tests before they can compete at international events such as the Olympics, even after the national federation's suspension is lifted, the International Association of Athletics Federations said Friday in a statement laying out conditions that "leave no room for doubt."

The IAAF suspended Russia last month after it was accused of operating a state-sponsored doping program.

The suspension means Russians cannot compete at next year's Olympics, but on Friday the IAAF said that if the suspension is lifted, athletes will not be readmitted to international competition without "at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests."

Extra drug tests are required for endurance events, from which dozens of Russians have been banned for doping in recent years. Endurance athletes must also give three samples to the biological passport program.

With Russia's national drug test agency and laboratory also suspended for reportedly covering up doping, all samples will be taken abroad for testing, the IAAF says.

No date was set as a target for Russia's readmission, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in the statement.

"The conditions we have announced leave no room for doubt,” he said. "Russia must demonstrate verifiable change across a range of criteria and satisfy our taskforce that those criteria will be met permanently.”

The IAAF previously set March 27 as the first date for its Russia taskforce to report back, effectively ensuring Russia cannot compete at the March 17-20 world indoor championships in Portland, Oregon.

Details of reforms

On Friday, the IAAF also fleshed out its previous calls for reform of the Russian athletics federation, which was accused of overseeing widespread doping in last month's report by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission.

The Russian federation must carry out its own investigation into doping, including interviewing any athlete who has represented the national team in the last four years.

Evidence from whistleblowers, including former national team runner Yulia Stepanova and marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, was crucial to the WADA report. The IAAF is pushing for reforms to make it easier for athletes to give evidence of doping.

The Russian federation must create "a mechanism for whistleblowing to the IAAF or WADA,'' while athletes who fail drug tests could be allowed to cut a deal with both organizations for reduced punishment if they provide evidence of other doping cases.

Russian athletes must also cut ties with Sergei Portugalov, a doctor who has been accused of supplying banned substances to athletes, and stop cooperating with the national training center for race-walking until it is audited. More than 20 athletes from the center in the central city of Saransk have tested positive for banned substances in recent years.

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