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World Athletics Council approves return of Russian body

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London, March 1 (IANS) Following detailed work by World Athletics’ Russia Taskforce, its independent experts, and Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), a final plan for the reinstatement of RusAF to membership of World Athletics (WA) was recommended to the World Athletics Council last week, WA said on Monday.

WA, in a statement, shared contents of an email that Taskforce chairman Rune Andersen sent to the World Athletics Council on the issue.

“The Taskforce has now reviewed and provided detailed feedback on three different drafts of the Reinstatement Plan. The three international experts appointed by World Athletics have worked closely with RusAF on the development of the Reinstatement Plan and advised the Taskforce that they believe the Plan is fit for the purpose of embedding in Russian athletics the deep-rooted change in culture that Council has been demanding for the past five years,” Andersen wrote in the email.

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“In addition, although RusAF president Peter Ivanov has been required to step down for two years because of his appointment as a senior official of the Russian government (to respect the CAS sanctions imposed on Russian government officials in the WADA/RUSADA compliance case), the international experts also consider that the senior management that Mr Ivanov has put in place will be able to move the Plan forward in his absence, under the temporary leadership of RusAF vice-president Irina Privalova as acting president,” he said.

The Taskforce chairman said that for its part, the Taskforce stands ready to monitor the milestones and KPIs in the Reinstatement Plan carefully, so that it is able to report to future Council meetings whether RusAF is keeping up with the enormous work that would be required to implement the reinstatement plan successfully.

The Council also decided in its December Council meeting that it will consider whether to allow Russian athletes to compete again as ANAs in international competitions (including allowing up to 10 ANAs to participate in World Athletics Series events and the Tokyo Olympic Games) at its March 2021 meeting, or earlier if the Taskforce so recommends, based on the progress made by RusAF to that date. The Taskforce said that it will address the question of ANAs in its report to the Council meeting of 17-18 March.

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–IANS

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