The earliest Russia’s track and field suspension can be lifted is February.
Banned since November 2015, Russia has made progress toward satisfying reinstatement conditions since June, said Norwegian anti-doping expert Rune Andersen, who has headed an independent inspection team to monitor Russia’s progress.
The IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, won’t make a decision regarding lifting Russia’s ban until at least February. Then, the independent inspection team hopes to provide a timeline for Russia’s potential reinstatement.
Andersen outlined three criteria that must be met.
- Russia’s track and field federation complies in full with the World Anti-Doping Agency Code and IAAF anti-doping rules.
- IAAF and Russia’s anti-doping agency (currently non-compliant) are able to conduct their anti-doping programs in Russia and, in particular, drug testing effectively and without interference.
- Reintegration of Russian athletes into international competitions will not jeopardize the integrity of those competitions.
“There is a recognition that it is important that clean athletes are given a system to get back into competition, but as the report says, they do not jeopardize the rights of the clean athletes and certainly don’t jeopardize the integrity of the competitions they come back to,” IAAF president Seb Coe said.
A key date on the road to February is Dec. 9, when independent investigator Richard McLaren is to deliver his final report on doping in Russia.
Russian athletes can still apply to a doping review board to compete individually while Russia is banned, if they have been subject to robust testing.
One Russian track and field athlete, Darya Klishina, competed in the Rio Olympics, finishing ninth in the long jump.
The next major international track and field event for Russians is the European Indoor Championships from March 3-5 in Belgrade, Serbia.Follow @nzaccardi