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IAAF reveals criteria for removal of Russia doping ban

IAAF reveals criteria for removal of Russia doping ban
International Association of Athletics Federations president Lord Sebastian Coe has unveiled the criteria Russia must meet for the current doping ban to be lifted, saying a complete change in culture must be displayed.

The country’s athletes face potential exclusion from the 2016 Olympic Games following a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation last month.

Following WADA’s (World Anti Doping Agency) recommendation that Russian athletes be banned from international competition for an indiscriminate amount of time, the IAAF agreed and handed down the sanction.

The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) opted not to appeal the decision, meaning that the country faces a race against time to prove itself before the event in Rio de Janeiro next summer.

ARAF was told on Friday that Russia must demonstrate that it meets WADA and IAAF regulations, with specific criteria set out.

This includes resolving current disciplinary cases, the introduction of a new code of ethics and stepping away from those previously found guilty of doping.

The world governing body also stipulated that all directors and officials involved with IAAF must demonstrate that they have had no previous involvement with doping.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) will also play a part when the ban is lifted, with the currently suspended regulatory body needing to prove that it can work independently without outside influence.

Lord Coe said there was no predetermined timescale for the ban and that a holistic change in Russia’s doping culture was necessary for the sanction to be lifted.

"The conditions we have announced leave no room for doubt,” he told BBC Sport. 

"Russia must demonstrate verifiable change across a range of criteria and satisfy our task force that those criteria will be met permanently.

"It is up to them to implement verifiable change both in anti-doping practice and culture.”

ARAF pledged to comply fully with the governing body’s wishes last month, with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko saying he was determined to clean up athletics in the country. 

READ MORE: Russian Sports Minister vows to clean-up troubled athletics body in doping fight

An IAAF task force will travel to Russia in January to determine whether new measures are being put in place and decide whether the country is compliant with the new criteria.

With Rusada currently suspended, the IAAF also confirmed it will take responsibility for testing Russian athletes, with this taking place outside the country until the ban is removed.

This will allow athletes to immediately return to participation as soon as the suspension is lifted.

The Russian athletics team will miss the IAAF World Indoor Championships in the United States in March 2016 due to the ban.