The World Athletics Council decided to revoke the membership of the all-Russian athletics Federation (VFL). A fatal event for the domestic Agency will occur if it does not pay a $6.31 million fine by August 15.
There is more clarity around the future of Russian athletics. And it runs the risk of being gloomy and even tragic.
On July 29-30, a regular meeting of the Council of the International Association of athletics federations (World Athletics) was held in the format of a videoconference.the issue of the all — Russian athletics Federation (VFL) was on the agenda, namely, the complete exclusion of the Department from the membership.
Until July 1, Russia was obliged to pay $5 million of the total fine of $10 million, which was imposed on the domestic organization for doping fraud in the “Lysenko case”. The WA Council put forward this requirement at its last meeting on March 11-12 in Monaco, but the VFL has not been able to find money for 3.5 months. According to Yevgeny Yurchenko, who eventually resigned as the Department’s President, the budget was hit hard by the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But WA refused to meet Russia halfway and temporarily stopped issuing neutral status to domestic track and field athletes. It is thanks to him that athletes in recent years have been able to compete at international competitions, but having lost it in the fall of 2019, in fact, they missed the season.
The results of the World Athletics Board meeting were disappointing: the VFL will be excluded.
But Russia was given the last chance, the last hope of salvation. The execution can be avoided if the VFL strictly by August 15 inclusive pays a $ 5 million fine and another $1.31 million that the WA working group spent on the investigation of the case. In a statement published on the official website of the international Association, it is stated: until the end of the working day on August 15 in Monaco. If the designated amount of money is not credited to the World Athletics accounts by this time, then a Congress will be called, at which the full exclusion of the VFL will be announced. The next meeting of the Congress is scheduled for January 29, 2021, but the international Association is ready to convene it earlier.
In the meantime, Russian track and field athletes who are completely deprived of the opportunity to participate in international competitions can apply for at least neutral status no earlier than in December. To do this, the VFL must provide World Athletics with a clear and concrete plan to restore its status by September 30. If this condition, along with the payment of a fine in time, is met, the Russians will be allowed to compete. And there are certain difficulties with this, because in WA, confidence in the Russian Department has almost completely lost.
The head of the World Athletics working group, rune Andersen, who is dealing with the issue of the VfL status, claims that over the past five years of the ban, during which the domestic athletics Federation is in restricted rights, Russia “almost did not change its culture of athletics” and “did very little” for its rehabilitation. The WA working group, in turn, according to the official, spent “a huge amount of time and effort helping the VFL and all domestic athletics,” to which Russia “reacted inappropriately.” At the same time, the international Association believes that the fine will still be paid on time.