Russia’s reinstatement in IAAF extremely important: Olympic chief

Moscow, Dec 9 (IANS) The reinstatement of Russia in the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) is an issue of extreme importance, the country’s Olympic chief Alexander Zhukov has said.

“The issue of Russia’s reinstatement in the IAAF is of extreme importance,” Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov said on Thursday.

“This issue is currently dealt with in a separate dimension within a set of measures, which Russia undertakes at all levels to see our suspended athletes allowed to take part in the competitions,” Zhukov was cited by Tass as saying.

“Regarding this issue, we are pining great hopes on a commission recently set up under the presidential decree,” Zhukov added.

Last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA ) Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

Eventually, IAAF decided to suspend ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement to restore its membership in the global federation.

In mid-June June, IAAF Council ruled it was still too early to restore ARAF’s membership in the international organisation subsequently extending the suspension of Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games in August.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Executive Board approved in late July the establishment of the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC). Vitaly Smirnov, who is an International Olympic Committee’s honorary member, was appointed the head of the new body.

Smirnov worked at IOC for 45 years and he also served as the ROC president between 1992 and 2001.

The decision to form the commission came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in mid-July that ROC could set up an independent public commission on the issues of fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs.

The presidential proposal came following an array of sanctions against the Russian sports on accusations of doping abuse.

–IANS

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