IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe has unveiled the criteria that Russia must meet for the present doping ban to be lifted. The International Association of Athletics Federations chief said a complete change in culture must be displayed.

Coe remarked that a holistic change in the doping culture of Russia is required for the sanction to be lifted and added there was no predetermined timescale for the ban. The IAAF head said the conditions we have announced leave no room for doubt and also added that Russia must demonstrate verifiable change across a range of criteria and satisfy our task force that those criteria will be met permanently. Lord Coe also remarked that it is up to Russia to implement verifiable change both in anti-doping practice and culture.

Russian athletes are presently a possible exclusion from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency last month. The world governing body of athletics agreed and handed down sanction to Russia after it was recommended by WADA that athletes of the country from international competition for an indiscriminate amount of time. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) decided not to appeal the decision that meant it faces a race against time to prove itself before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next summer.

The IAAF has told All-Russia Athletics Federation that Russia must demonstrate that it meets the regulations of WADA and IAAF, with specific criteria set out. These regulations include resolving current disciplinary cases and introducing a new code of ethics and stepping away from those who were previously found guilty of doping. It was also stipulated by the world governing body of athletics that all officials and directors who are involved with IAAF must demonstrate that they have had no previous involvement with doping. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency is also asked to prove that it can work independently without outside influence.

In another development, an advisor to the Russian Sports Minister said UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) will be helping the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to carry out its work. Natalia Zheleznova said the World Anti-Doping Agency has recommended UK Anti-Doping to Russian Anti-Doping Agency and they are expected to plan tests together attracting international companies which take doping tests.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko remarked that he is fully determined to fight the use of doping products by athletes of the country. Mutko added Russia does not need some deceitful athlete or coach to fool everyone. If needed, we will clean up this federation completely. The sports minister added it has requested IAAF to allow Russian track and field athletes to participate in the upcoming competitions under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) instead of the Russian flag for circumventing the ban imposed by the IAAF.

ARAF General Secretary Mikhail Butov said the IAAF overreacted in this situation and also commented that the decision won’t do any good to international track and field athletics.

The first trip of IAAF task force to Russia to begin its overview is scheduled for January 2016.

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