Russia reinstatement process suspended over AIU charges
The global governing body of athletics on Friday suspended the reinstatement process for Russia pending the resolution of charges imposed on its athletics federation for violating anti-doping rules, dealing a blow to the country's Olympic hopes.
Russia's athletics federation (Rusaf) has been suspended since 2015 over a doping scandal and had hoped to be reinstated by the sport's governing World Athletics, formerly the IAAF.
But four years into the suspension, the reinstatement process for the federation was halted after its president and a string of federation officials were provisionally suspended for violating anti-doping rules.
"The council immediately suspended the Rusaf (Russian athletics federation) reinstatement process pending the resolution of the charges," said Rune Andersen, the chairman of the World Athletics taskforce overseeing Russia's reinstatement.
On Thursday, the Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees integrity issues in athletics, including doping, suspended federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin and six other people for what they said were serious breaches of anti-doping rules.
The violations pertain to an investigation into whereabouts violations committed by Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko, which they said the officials had obstructed.
The officials, the AIU said, provided false explanations and forged documents to explain three whereabouts violations by Lysenko.
The suspension of Russia's reinstatement process comes as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is set to decide next month on the status of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA after Moscow allegedly provided it with doctored laboratory data.