Monday 30 November, 2020

Russian ministry provides money to pay World Athletics fine

Russia's national drug-testing laboratory in Moscow.

Russia's national drug-testing laboratory in Moscow.

The Russian Sports Ministry has provided funds for the national track and field federation to pay off a fine to World Athletics and escape expulsion from the governing body, the ministry said Wednesday.

The federation, known as RusAF, is facing possible expulsion if it doesn't meet a Saturday deadline to pay a $5 million fine and $1.3 million in costs to World Athletics. The deadline is part of a long-running dispute over doping in Russia and the alleged use of forged medical documents used to give an athlete an alibi for being unavailable for drug testing.

The ministry said Wednesday that it gave RusAF “a one-time subsidy for developing the sport, including clearing the debt to World Athletics,” but didn't specify how much it had transferred.

RusAF president Yevgeny Yurchenko, who is running the federation on a temporary basis after earlier announcing his resignation, told the Tass state news agency that the full payment to World Athletics had been made. World Athletics said it hadn't yet received the funds as of Wednesday afternoon but the transfer could take time.

RusAF missed a previous July 1 deadline to pay, saying it didn't have the money. World Athletics extended a freeze on allowing Russian athletes to compete as “authorised neutral athletes” in international events until the money is paid and RusAF presents a plan for future anti-doping reforms.

RusAF is still serving a suspension imposed in 2015 by World Athletics over widespread doping.

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