IAAF sets out terms of Russia return

The IAAF has laid out the criteria it expects Russia to meet before its suspension from competition can be lifted.

Russia was suspended last week over allegations of state-sponsored doping, with an independent commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) having called for the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) to be banned.

As a result of the sanction, Russian athletes will not be able to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games, but the governing body has outlined how the country can be re-admitted.

Measures includes identifying and sanctioning anyone involved in the doping scandal, with ARAF expected to establish an “effective operational anti-doping framework”.

The federation will then be required to make “structural and regulatory reforms” to deter future cases of doping, while implementing its own anti-doping testing programme.

ARAF will also be required to satisfy WADA and the IAAF that everyone linked to the federation will act within the guidelines going forward, with the inspection team continuing to monitor progress.

“The verification criteria must be robust otherwise the inspection process will fail,” said IAAF president Sebastian Coe.

“Repeating past failings which have brought ARAF to their current position is not an option.

“To succeed this process must guarantee a level playing field and thereby re-establish confidence in the integrity of competition.

“For the protection of all clean athletes there cannot be any timeframe for ARAF’s return until we are assured all criteria have been fully met and will continue to be met forever.”

The criteria will be presented to the IAAF Council next week before WADA is consulted. The inspection process is expected to begin on January 1, with the first report due back to the IAAF Council on March 27.