No Russian athletes at the 2016 world indoor championships: source

Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:00pm EST
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By Gene Cherry

(Reuters) - There will no be Russian athletes at the 2016 IAAF world indoor championships in Portland, Oregon next March, a source with knowledge of the decision told Reuters on Thursday.

The championships will be the first global athletics meeting the Russians will miss since the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Moscow last week amid allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping, detailed in a World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission report.

That suspension will not be lifted before an IAAF inspection team has completed their investigation and verified that the Russian athletics federation meets the objectives of IAAF membership, the source told Reuters.

The indoor championships are scheduled for March 17-20, 10 days before the inspection team is scheduled to make its first report to an IAAF Council meeting in Wales on March 27.

The source emphasised Russian athletes could not compete in any international events, including cross country and track and field, until the suspension is lifted.

Russia is a major player in world athletics, having finished second to the United States in the last indoor championships in Poland in 2014 and in the athletics competition at the 2012 Olympics in London.

IAAF chief Sebastian Coe said on Thursday that Russia needs to prove its commitment to anti-doping according to "robust" verification criteria if its track and field athletes are to return to competitions.

"For the protection of all clean athletes, there cannot be any timeframe for (Russia's) return until we are assured all criteria have been fully met and will continue to be met forever," Coe said.   Continued...

Competitors race in the women's 800 metres during the Sydney Track Classic in this file photo dated February 18, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne