Russia says World Athletics freeze over unpaid fine is 'catastrophic' decision for athletes

Yevgeny Yurchenko said World Athletics had ignored the impact of the coronavirus pandemic when it held Russia to a Wednesday deadline for payment, which was missed.

The Associated Press July 03, 2020 23:25:14 IST
Russia says World Athletics freeze over unpaid fine is 'catastrophic' decision for athletes

Moscow: The president of Russia's track and field federation said on Friday it is “catastrophic” to suspend Russian athletes' applications to compete over a $5 million unpaid fine for breaking anti-doping rules.

Yevgeny Yurchenko said World Athletics had ignored the impact of the coronavirus pandemic when it held Russia to a Wednesday deadline for payment, which was missed.

World Athletics said on Thursday it was freezing the work of the panel which vets Russians who want to compete internationally with “authorised neutral athlete” status. Russia owes a $5 million fine and $1.3 million in other costs.

The freeze lasts until the World Athletics council meets 29-30 July and could prevent some top Russians competing when the Diamond League restarts next month.

“It is a great pity that in this situation the main blow — terrible, catastrophic — is landing on our athletes, who are hostages of the mistakes which were made in a previous period by people known to us,” Yurchenko said in a statement.

“World Athletics unfortunately is refusing to take into account the economic and epidemiological situation and the damage which has been wrought by the pandemic in Russia and the wider world," he said on Thursday.

The fine was imposed in March over a case involving allegedly forged medical documents to give an athlete an alibi for not being available for drug testing, under Yurchenko’s predecessor Dmitry Shlyakhtin.

Russia says World Athletics freeze over unpaid fine is catastrophic decision for athletes

File image of President of the Russian Athletics Federation, Yevgeny Yurchenko. AP Photo

On behalf of the federation, Yurchenko in March admitted charges that it broke anti-doping rules in that case. Disciplinary charges filed against Shlyakhtin and six other people by the Athletics Integrity Unit remain unresolved.

When World Athletics issued the fine in March, Yurchenko pledged that the federation, known as RusAF, would make every effort to pay. He later said it could not afford the payments.

RusAF itself has been under suspension from World Athletics since 2015 over widespread doping. That forces its athletes to register for neutral status to compete outside their home country.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

NBA: Playing in Orlando bubble is ‘safest place you can be,’ says deputy commissioner Mark Tatum
Sports

NBA: Playing in Orlando bubble is ‘safest place you can be,’ says deputy commissioner Mark Tatum

Just a day before the NBA restarts in a bubble in Orlando, the league announced that all 344 players have tested negative for COVID-19.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson in quarantine after returning to bubble, could play against Utah Jazz
Sports

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson in quarantine after returning to bubble, could play against Utah Jazz

NBA said on Saturday that Williamson will have to serve a four-day quarantine for leaving the league’s Disney bubble on 16 July to tend to an urgent family matter.

Formula 1 2020: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton says he is braced for 'super-weird' race at Silverstone
Sports

Formula 1 2020: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton says he is braced for 'super-weird' race at Silverstone

Talking about the upcoming race, Hamilton said: "British GP is the best, particularly because of the fans, the thousands that turn up and really create the spectacle. So it’s going to be super-weird. That is something I think I am still coming to terms with."