26th September 2018

RusAF appeals to CAS over continued IAAF exclusion

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) 27 July decision not to reinstate its membership. RusAF said that its appeal firstly argues that the decision is invalid, as it fails to outline a roadmap for its reinstatement should Russian authorities acknowledge the findings of Richard McLaren about their involvement in corrupting the Russian anti-doping system; provide access to the samples stored at the Moscow Laboratory; and to the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). 

Secondly, RusAF’s appeal argues that the two remaining criteria being assessed by the IAAF are invalid, as the IAAF has no authority to set or police them. At a July IAAF Council meeting (click here to download a report), the IAAF outlined that for RusAF to be restored:

• Russian authorities must acknowledge ‘that Ministry of Sport officials were implicated in the scheme to cover up the doping of Russian athletes that is described in the McLaren and Schmid Reports’; and
• Russian authorities must provide access to any suspicious findings set out in the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) required by the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

Last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), which was one of the conditions for RusAF’s reinstatement. RusAF’s appeal outlines its view that WADA’s decision means that the other two remaining criteria have been fulfilled. The IAAF has outlined that it still considers the two remaining criteria as outstanding. 

‘Andersen and his Taskforce will review the decision made by WADA and the conditions set by WADA over the next few weeks and check RusAF progress on other criteria still outstanding’, reads a 20 September IAAF statement. ‘The Taskforce will then compile their report with a recommendation and present this to the IAAF Council at the beginning of December. It is then for Council to discuss and decide any actions.’

‘Given that the outstanding criteria for RusAF’s reinstatement, according to the latest IAAF council meeting in July, were essentially identical to those that WADA’s Executive Committee has now considered met, and that time is of the essence, we respectfully request the IAAF decide to reinstate RusAF as soon as possible’, read a RusAF letter to the IAAF, obtained by The Times. ‘We are at your disposal to discuss the next steps at your earliest convenience. In the meantime, however, we have no choice but to file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the IAAF council’s decision in July by which the IAAF Council decided to extend RusAF’s membership suspension.’

Dmitry Shlyakhtin, President of RusAF, explained why RusAF had to file its CAS appeal on 25 September. “We were waiting for some kind of reaction [to the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to restore the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA)] for the IAAF, but it did not happen”, he said in a statement. The IAAF’s 27 July decision outlined that it had 60 days at which to file an appeal at the CAS, which meant that RusAF had to file its appeal by 25 September at the latest.

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