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Russia track and field’s Olympic fate gets decision date


LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Maria Sharapova of the Russia Olympic tennis team carries her country’s flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

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MONACO (AP) — The IAAF council is expected to rule on the fate of Russian track and field at its next meeting in June.

The IAAF said in a statement on Thursday that its council will be convened on June 17 in Vienna, Austria, for a full-day meeting.

Russia remains banned from international track and field, including the Olympics, after the country’s athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF in November following allegations of state-sponsored and systematic doping made by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel.

The Russian anti-doping agency has also been suspended from conducting any testing in the wake of the scandal, with Britain’s UKAD now conducting most of the tests in Russia.

The council meeting announcement came as the Russian Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday that six more track and field athletes have been banned for various doping offenses.

Russia is hoping to persuade authorities it has done enough to be reinstated in time for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Earlier this week, Russia announced that two outside experts appointed by WADA will start work in Moscow this month to oversee anti-doping reforms. A supervisory board has also been set up to govern the Russian anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, which had been accused of being too close to the Sports Ministry.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and IAAF President Sebastian Coe both attended the SportAccord conference earlier this week but did not meet. Mutko did get a meeting he requested with World Anti-Doping Agency leaders, though.

If Russia is reinstated, the IAAF has insisted that individual Russian athletes will only be allowed to compete at the Olympics if they have been tested at least three times in the preceding six months.

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