IAAF Maintains Russia’s Athletics Ban Over Doping

IAAF

The governing body of world athletics on Friday maintained Russia’s ban from track and field over mass doping, just 10 days before the start of the European Championships in Berlin.

“The IAAF Council unanimously adopted the resolution that RUSAF (the Russian athletics federation) not be reinstated at this time,” said Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF’s Russian taskforce team.

Andersen, however, said there had been “a lot of meaningful engagement from RUSAF,” which has made “significant improvement” in meeting reinstatement requirements.

“In some cases they have gone above and beyond what is required,” the Norwegian said before adding that the conclusion remained that RUSAF not be reinstated at this time with further progress still to be made.

Andersen said that for Russia to be reinstated, ideally at the IAAF Council’s next meeting in Monaco in December after a WADA meet in September, three demands must be met.

Firstly, RUSAF must pay for the costs incurred by the IAAF in the wake of the doping scandal, notably the establishment of the task force.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA must also be reinstated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), with a key requirement being the acknowledgement by Moscow that ministry of sports officials orchestrated the doping of Russian athletes.

And finally, Russian authorities must give access to doping tests carried out at RUSADA’s Moscow laboratory between 2011-15.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe added: “Progress has been made in key areas. There are still some gaps to be filled.

“We have brought about change and it’s change that is very viable. But we weren’t yet at that point where every element of that (reinstatement) criteria had been met.”

Russian athletics federation President Dmitry Shlyakhtin said he had been hoping for better news.

“We are disappointed by the decision taken today by the IAAF Council,” Shlyakhtin was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.

“I cannot hide that we were counting on a positive decision, on a partial restoration of the Russian athletics federation. Sadly, this hasn’t happened.

“We will continue, however, to work towards the restoration of the federation.”

Russia was accused in a WADA report in 2016 of widespread state-sponsored doping. Its athletics team was barred from that summer’s Rio Olympics and also missed the IAAF World Championships in London a year later.

A number of Russian athletes, however, have been granted permission by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to compete as neutrals after meeting the exceptional eligibility criteria, essentially demonstrating that they’ve come through transparent anti-doping testing.

Russia had also been banned from the Olympic movement over the doping scandal culminating at the 2014 Russian-hosted Sochi Winter Games.

A team of 168 Russians competed in this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games under the neutral banner of “Olympic Athletes from Russia”, although a Russian curling medallist tested positive for a banned substance.

The International Olympic Committee then lifted its ban on Russia at the end of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

AFP

Paris To Host 2020 European Championships

Paris has been confirmed as the host city for the 2020 European Athletics Championships, European Athletics confirmed on Friday.

The 26th edition of the championships will take place at the Stade Sebastien Charlety from August 26-30.

Paris was the sole bidder following the withdrawal of Tbilisi last year.
The athletes’ village will be located in the International university campus, which is a two-minute walk from the stadium.

Paris hosted the 2003 athletics world championships at the Stade de France, which is located in the outskirts of the French capital.

“We are all looking forward, all European Athletics is looking forward to being here in 2020, especially because in 2020 we will be after the Olympics and I think that will add a great promotional value to the championships at that time,” European Athletics President, Svein Arne Hansen, said.

Poland Coach Says Lewandowski Deserves Better Protection

Euro 2016, Poland, Portugal Poland coach, Adam Nawalka, says his captain and striker, Robert Lewandowski deserves better protection from referees as his team get ready for their Euro 2016 quarter-final against Portugal.

Lewandowski has been fouled 16 times during the tournament, more than any other player and well ahead of the nine fouls committed on Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

He said his captain was physically up to the challenge, but believes referees are not doing enough to protect players from cynical and dangerous fouls.

Poland go into the game as slight underdogs having never previously progressed this far in an international tournament.

Meanwhile, Portugal coach, Fernando Santos, wants his players to be tactically flawless if they are going to be able to beat Poland in their Euro 2016 quarter-final in Marseille.

Portugal beat Croatia 1-0 in the last-16, with goal late in extra-time from Ricardo Quaresma after a good counter-attack involving Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal have already maintained their record of reaching the quarter-finals on all 10 occasions they have taken part at European championships.

Santos lauded Poland’s defensive unity and collective spirit.

Ilkay Gundogan Joins Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester CityGerman midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan has joined Manchester City from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund on a four-year deal.

The 25-year-old is the club’s first signing since they confirmed Spanish coach, Pep Guardiola will take over at the Etihad from Manuel Pellegrini prior to the start of next season.

City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain, has described Ilkay is an excellent addition to the Cityteam and the club are delighted to have him on board.

“He is an intelligent and versatile midfielder who can operate in a number of different roles. I think our supporters will enjoy his work ethic and technical ability and I believe he will be a very important player for us in the coming years.”

Gundogan made 157 appearances over the past five seasons for Borussia Dortmund and has won 16 caps for Germany, scoring four goals.

The injury-prone German international dislocated a kneecap in training in May, ruling him out of the 2016 European Championships in France.

“I’m thrilled to have signed for Manchester City,” said Gundogan. “When I learned of City’s interest my heart was set on coming here and things have moved very quickly.

“I have loved my time with Borussia Dortmund and I would like to thank the club and the supporters for the five very happy years I spent there.

“They gave me a platform to play on and I became a better player because of the belief, patience and trust they showed in me.

“Now I have a new challenge and that is to achieve great things with City. The opportunity to work with a coach like Pep Guardiola is something I am really looking forward to and I am flattered to be the first signing the Club has made this summer.

“I can promise the City fans I will give everything to help us win titles both in England and the Champions League. These are exciting times.

“I have my best years ahead of me and I think we can achieve great things together. I can’t wait to begin this new chapter in my career.”