January 30, 2020 / 3:05 PM / 6 months ago

Athletics: Russian federation rejects call to expel it over doping offences

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s suspended athletics federation said it would continue to battle to prove its innocence after the Athletics Integrity Unit Board accused it of showing a “total lack of contrition” in its response to anti-doping violations.

The AIU recommended on Wednesday that the Russian federation be expelled from global athletics after examining explanations provided by the federation about its leadership’s involvement in the cover-up of a violation by high jumper Danil Lysenko.

The federation’s president and six others were provisionally suspended in November last year for having provided forged documents and false explanations to justify three missed doping tests by Lysenko.

“The Russian federation does not agree with the allegations made by the AIU Board because they are unfounded and unproven,” the federation said in a statement.

“The Russian federation intends to maintain its innocence and is considering all possible legal means to protect its position and the interests of (its) athletes,” it said late on Wednesday.

Russia’s athletics federation was initially suspended in 2015 after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping in the sport and had since been trudging toward reinstatement.

World Athletics, the sport’s global governing body, halted Russia’s reinstatement process and stopped clearing some Russians to compete internationally as neutrals in response to the charges facing the federation’s leadership.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Toby Davis

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