Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will not hear an appeal by the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) against an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decision not to reinstate its membership before 4 December, when the IAAF Council will next consider whether RusAF should be reinstated. RusAF filed an appeal against the 27 July IAAF decision on 26 September, but the CAS has yet to set a date for a hearing. This raises questions about whether RusAF would need to file another appeal, should the IAAF decide not to reinstate RusAF on 4 December.
The CAS announced a list of future hearings stretching to 15 January on 13 November, but RusAF’s appeal did not feature. The Sports Integrity Initiative has asked the CAS to clarify the situation, but has yet to receive a reply.
RusAF’s appeal argues that WADA’s 20 September decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) means that two of the three remaining criteria on the IAAF Roadmap have been fulfilled. These are that Russian authorities must acknowledge the findings of the McLaren and Schmid Reports that Ministry of Sport officials were implicated in a scheme to cover up the doping of Russian athletes; and that access must be provided to data from the testing of samples from 2011 to 2015 at the Moscow Laboratory.
The third and final IAAF criteria mandates that RusAF must reimburse the IAAF for all costs relating to its ongoing suspension. A meeting between RusAF and the IAAF Task Force led by Rune Andersen that is overseeing RusAF’s progress in achieving the necessary criteria for reinstatement took place on 7-8 November. RusAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin outlined that due to the ‘significant’ amount of debt, it proposed repayment over a six month period. As previously reported, the IAAF has remained tight-lipped about other discussions at that meeting.
RusAF’s appeal also argues that the IAAF criteria are invalid, as it has no authority to set or police them. In the absence of clarification from the CAS on RusAF’s appeal, the IAAF Council will face a difficult decision on 4 December. If it accepts that WADA’s decision means RusAF has fulfilled its criteria, it will face a similar backlash to that which has been levelled at WADA. If it maintains that Russia must fulfil the requirements, it will find itself at loggerheads with WADA, and potentially with the CAS.
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