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Russia track and field doping ban lifted, still suspended for war in Ukraine

Track and Field

A general view of the Olympic Stadium during the European Athletics Championships in Munich, southern Germany on August 17, 2022. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Russia’s track and field federation was reinstated from a seven-year suspension after meeting conditions regarding its anti-doping system, but its athletes and officials remain barred from competition due to the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s federation had been suspended since November 2015 due to well-publicized institutional doping violations. During the suspension, some Russian athletes were cleared to compete in a neutral capacity until all were banned last March for the invasion.

“I’d like to think that those athletes that are going to be competing, I hope in future years in Russia, do so with the confidence with the rest of the sport,” World Athletics President Seb Coe said. “We still have some way to go.”

Russia’s federation must meet “35 special conditions” for a three-year period, after which there will be a review of its status.

Coe said the ban on Russia and Belarus athletes for the invasion of Ukraine remains in place “for the foreseeable future.”

“As I noted at the time these measures were introduced last year, the unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries all over the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace,” Coe said in a press release. “The death and destruction we have seen in Ukraine over the past year, including the deaths of some 185 athletes, have only hardened my resolve on this matter. The integrity of our major international competitions has already been substantially damaged by the actions of the Russian and Belarusian governments, through the hardship inflicted on Ukrainian athletes and the destruction of Ukraine’s sports systems. Russian and Belarusian athletes, many of whom have military affiliations, should not be beneficiaries of these actions.”

For most track and field events, the 2024 Olympic qualifying period begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2024. Athletes can qualify by recording minimum times or marks or through world rankings based on results throughout the qualifying window.

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