Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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02 July 2020, 11am

Olympic participation in jeopardy

Plea to Putin from neutral Russian athletes

The Russian Athletics Association (RusAF) has been suspended from World Athletics since 2015 for repeated violations of anti-doping guidelines. Russian athletes have now petitioned Vladimir Putin to avoid being completely excluded from the upcoming Olympic Games.

RusAF had until 1 July 1 to pay the first of two equal instalments of WA’s USD10 million fine. Without compliance 10 ‘neutral’ athletes may be deprived of their right to participate in the Olympic Games.

Several top Russian athletes have asked President Putin to intervene. “We would like to draw your attention to the catastrophic situation of our sport,” wrote world champion high jumper Marija Lassizkene on social media. “We are on the verge of ultimate chaos and the destruction of athletics.” Lassizkene and her colleagues accuse Putin of failing to present a concrete plan to overcome the ongoing crisis. “We missed the 2016 Olympic Games and it is quite possible that we will miss the Games in Tokyo,” the statement said.

Russian officials have recently emphasised once again that they did not have the money to pay the fine. An application to defer payment was denied. The second instalment of the fine was to be suspended after payment of the first. A maximum of 10 Russian athletes will be allowed to start as neutral athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

[From the DLV Anti-Doping Unit – ANTI-DOPING-NEWS – 7/2020]

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