4 Feb 2020 11:53

RusAF Athletes' Commission backs decision of RusAF board to resign

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) - The resignation of the board of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) will facilitate the process of reinstating RusAF's membership in World Athletics, members of the RusAF Athletes' Commission said.

"The Athletes' Commission supports the decision of the RusAF board to resign and transfer all its rights to the working group of the Russian Olympic Committee [ROC]. In our opinion, this step is the only possible option and is highly important to help return Russia's track and field athletics to the world's sporting community," the RusAF Athletes' Commission said in a statement published on Instagram.

"The commission expresses its readiness for productive work with the ROC working group and hopes that its representative Radion Gataullin will be invited to join it," it said.

According to earlier reports, the RusAF board resigned, and the Russian Olympic Committee's taskforce, which World Athletics representatives were invited to join on February 3, is now in charge of reinstating RusAF's membership in World Athletics.

The Russian Sports Ministry's commission for the state accreditation of national sports federations ruled to suspend RusAF's accreditation on January 31.

In late November 2019, the Athletics Integrity Unit suspended RusAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin and Executive Director Alexander Parkin for falsification of documents and unwillingness to cooperate with the inquiry into anti-doping rule violations by Russian high jumper Daniil Lysenko.

In August 2018, Lysenko was provisionally suspended by the IAAF for breaching anti-doping rules. Specifically, he had failed to indicate his whereabouts for undergoing doping control tests three times.

On November 23, 2019, Shlyakhtin resigned at a snap meeting of RusAF's Executive Committee, and Yulia Tarasenko, the head of the St. Petersburg Athletics Federation, was appointed acting RusAF president.

On November 25, the Russian Olympic Committee demanded a comprehensive reform of RusAF.

On November 27, then-Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said that RusAF must present a roadmap for overcoming the crisis to the Sports Ministry and elect new leadership. Otherwise, RusAF faced losing Sports Ministry accreditation.

RusAF presented a draft of such a roadmap to the Sports Ministry on December 5.

RusAF is to hold an extraordinary conference at which its new president and governing bodies are to be elected on February 28, 2020.