The doping sanctions on Russia is likely to continue. Not only this but the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) director general Yury Ganus believes there is a “high probability” World Athletics will expel the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) after the organisation missed a deadline to pay a fine.
RusAF had been set a deadline of July 1 to pay $6.31 million as part of reinstatement criteria following the nation’s doping scandal. World Athletics fined RusAF $10 million in March, in lieu of expelling the suspended organisation outright. Half of the fine was due on July 1, as well as $1.31 million in various costs.
Ganus believes the latest setback in the long-running crisis could lead to World Athletics taking the decision to expel RusAF. World Athletics council is slated to meet on July 29-30 and further sanctions can be levied on Russian Athletics.
The president of Russia’s track and field federation said on Friday that it is “catastrophic” to suspend Russian athletes’ applications to compete over a $5 million unpaid fine for breaking anti-doping rules. Yevgeny Yurchenko said World Athletics had ignored the impact of the coronavirus pandemic when it held Russia to a Wednesday deadline for payment, which was missed.
World Athletics said on Thursday that it was freezing the work of the panel which vets Russians who want to compete internationally with “authorised neutral athlete” status. Russia owes a $5 million fine and $1.3 million in other costs.
The freeze lasts until the World Athletics council meets July 29-30 and could prevent some top Russians competing when the Diamond League restarts next month.
“It is a great pity that in this situation the main blow – terrible, catastrophic – is landing on our athletes, who are hostages of the mistakes which were made in a previous period by people known to us,” Yurchenko said in a statement.
“World Athletics unfortunately is refusing to take into account the economic and epidemiological situation and the damage which has been wrought by the pandemic in Russia and the wider world,” he said on Thursday.
The fine was imposed in March over a case involving allegedly forged medical documents to give an athlete an alibi for not being available for drug testing, under Yurchenko’s predecessor Dmitry Shlyakhtin. On behalf of the federation, Yurchenko in March admitted charges that it broke anti-doping rules in that case. Disciplinary charges filed against Shlyakhtin and six other people by the Athletics Integrity Unit remain unresolved.
World Athletics has stood down its taskforce, which is overseeing the country’s reinstatement, and has halted the work of the Doping Review Board (DRB), which decides which Russians can compete with neutral (ANA) status, after RusAF missed the deadline.
World Athletics had imposed an ANA cap of 10 athletes for major events, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on Russia when it resumed the process in March and announced the fine. Former 110 metres hurdles world champion Sergey Shubenkov, reigning pole vault world champion Anzhelika Sidorova and three-time high jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene were among eight athletes approved for ANA status.