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European track and field president doesn’t expect Russia to compete at Olympics

Svein Arne Hansen

HYERES, FRANCE - DECEMBER 12: European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen at a press conference ahead of the Spar European Cross Country Championships on December 12, 2015 in Hyeres, France. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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The president of Europe’s track and field governing body said he doesn’t expect Russian track and field athletes to compete in the Rio Olympics, according to Athletics Weekly.

The IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, suspended Russia from competition indefinitely on Nov. 13 until the country fixes its poor anti-doping record.

There is no guarantee that Russia’s ban will or will not be lifted before the Rio Olympics in August.

“For the moment they have to fulfill the conditions, but I cannot really see them competing in Rio,” European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen said, according to Athletics Weekly. “We will have the first report to the IAAF in March, but for the moment they have to really, really put a lot of effort in to compete in Rio.

“They must have a cultural change. They must get rid of all those people from before.”

An IAAF task force is scheduled to visit Russia from Jan. 10-11 to check on the nation’s progress in meeting reinstatement conditions.

The IAAF said Nov. 19 that an inspection team would first report back to the IAAF on March 27, which would mean Russia’s ban could not be lifted until after the World Indoor Championships in Portland, Ore., earlier in March.

MORE: Russia reinstatement criteria detailed by IAAF

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