LONDON: World Athletics (WA) on Thursday voted to end its eight-year ban on the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) but the country’s athletes will remain excluded from international competition as WA continues to impose a separate ban due to the invasion of Ukraine.
In 2015 RusAF was banned after extensive state-sponsored doping and associated cover-ups were exposed. The ban persisted as a result of a failure to meaningfully resolve the problem.
“The Council agreed to the reinstatement of the Russian Federation (RusAF) following seven years of suspension due to egregious institutional doping violations. However, athletes, officials and supporting personnel from Russia and Belarus are still excluded from competition for the foreseeable future due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” World Athletics’ official statement read.
“The World Athletics Council has also reaffirmed the decision it originally made in March 2022, to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes, support personnel, Member Federation officials and officials who are citizens of those two countries from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future,” the statement further read.
“The Council approved the Russia Taskforce’s recommendation that RusAF, which has been suspended for seven years due to doping, be reinstated after meeting all the requirements of the Reinstatement plan, which has been confirmed by an independent audit.
However RusAF will be required to comply with a set of 35 ‘Special Conditions’ that are intended to ensure that RusAf’s anti-doping reforms remain in place and continue to operate effectively,” it further read.
“These Special Conditions are designed to enable the Athletics Integrity Unit to monitor, evaluate, communicate, mentor, oversee, and assist RusAF and its external stakeholders to ensure they maintain good governance practices and to protect RusAF from external pressures and attempts to influence or control its functioning,” it added.
World Athletics said that its Council has agreed to remove top competition transgender athletes who have transitioned from male to female after going through puberty. The council also voted to decrease the allowable quantity of plasma testosterone for athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) in half, to 2.5 nanomoles per litre from five.
“The Council agreed to update the eligibility regulations for transgender and DSD athletes to compete in the female category. For DSD athletes, the new regulations will require any relevant athletes to reduce their testosterone levels below a limit of 2.5 nmol/L for a minimum of 24 months to compete internationally in the female category in any event, not just the events that were restricted (400m to one mile) under the previous regulations. The principle of restricted events has been removed from the regulations,” the WA statement read.
“The six months period is consistent with the previous regulations, which required six months of testosterone suppression (below 5nmol/L) for DSD athletes to compete in the restricted events.
The interim provisions do not apply to the previously restricted events (400m to one mile) where two years of testosterone suppression will be required before the relevant athlete is eligible to compete,” it further added. (ANI)