Sebastian Coe meets with new ARAF president

IAAF president Sebastian Coe met with newly-elected All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin to discuss ways of “bringing Russian athletics out of crisis”, it has been confirmed.

The IAAF banned ARAF in November following allegations of state-sponsored doping within Russia in a report published by an independent commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) also had its accreditation suspended by WADA, and an IAAF taskforce, including delegates from UK Anti-Doping, has since visited Russia to discuss ways in which an anti-doping programme can be run in the meantime, with a cooperation agreement confirmed by WADA on Tuesday.

Coe, who set out his ‘road map for reform’ at the IAAF in January, has now met with Shlyakhtin, elected to replace interim president Vadim Zelichenok in January, to discuss ways for Russia to move towards a lifting of the ban ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

“The first working meeting between Mr Dmitry Shlyakhtin, president [of the All-Russia Athletics Federation], and Mr Sebastian Coe… took place on February 12, 2016 in the IAAF Headquarters in Monaco. Mr Jean Gracia, IAAF interim chief executive/general secretary attended the meeting,” an ARAF statement read.

“In the course of the meeting both parties discussed various matters related to the current situation in Russian athletics and ways of bringing it out of crisis.

“Dmitry Shlyakhtin informed IAAF leaders about the measures that have already been taken in order to reform [ARAF] activity. He mentioned that this process required a thorough and well planned activity and could not be solved within one day.

“[The] A[R]AF president mentioned that he was in close contact with IAAF taskforce chaired by Mr Rune Andersen, and was well aware about the changes that have already happened [at ARAF].”

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