IAAF puts no timeline on Russia's athletics ban for anti-doping programme
Friday 2 Dec 2016 9:56 a.m.
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Russia's athletics ban will run into 2017 and may include the August world championships after a task force monitoring the nation's anti-doping programme refused to put any dates on a "road map" for a return.
Rune Andersen, the Norwegian heading the task force, reported to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council there had been areas of progress but that many issues still needed clarifying in the new year.
The Russian Federation (RUSAF) was banned in November 2015 after an independent WADA probe exposed state-sponsored doping on a massive scale.
The suspension was upheld earlier this year, ruling almost all Russian track and field athletes out of the Rio Olympics, after Andersen said he had seen little progress.
"RUSAF has made further progress since June including anti-doping education modules and securing the co-operation of the Russian criminal authorities and parliament in criminalising the supply of doping products," Andersen told a news conference.
"But one of the key remaining issues is how to demonstrate the IAAF and RUSADA will be able to carry out testing without interference, which is a key part of their reinstatement."
Richard McLaren, co-author of the independent WADA report, is due to release the second part of his findings in London next week.
Andersen said the task force would report back in February when it hoped to "identify a clear road map" for Russia's return but he declined to give any further likely timeframe.
Earlier, Russian president Vladimir Putin used his state of the nation address to say he thought effective measures would be in place early in the new year.
"I am sure the so-called doping scandal will allow us to create the most advanced system of righting this evil in Russia," Putin said.
"I assume the national programme of counter-acting doping will be ready as early as the beginning of next year."