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Sports

Athletics chiefs maintain doping ban on Russia

media Russian athletes were banned from competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Reuters/Dylan Martinez

World athletics governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (Iaaf), on Tuesday maintained Russia's ban from track and field events. Russian athletes were barred from competing under their national flag in November 2015 after a state-backed doping programme was revealed.

The Iaaf said Russia could return to the fold once authorities in the country had provided data from a Moscow laboratory where samples were tested between 2011 and 2015.

Rune Andersen, head of the Iaaf's taskforce on Russia, said Russia also had to  pay the Iaaf's costs for the work of the taskforce and also its legal costs during hearings at the Court of Arbitration of Sport in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

Access to the samples will allow the independent Athletics Integrity Unit the chance to gauge whether any suspicious findings should be investigated.

"I hope they'll deliver the data by the end of this year," Andersen said of the samples taken and stored in the Moscow laboratory. "We've received no assurances it will be delivered to us directly.

"Assurances have been given to the World Anti-Doping Agency and they have set a deadline of December 31 to receive the data."

Dmitry Shlyaktin, the president of the Russian athletics federation (Rusaf), told Interfax news agency that he was not suprised by the Iaaf's decision. "But we did have hope," he added. "Because Rusaf has worked very hard to comply with the Iaaf's demands."

Since the ban, the Russian athletics team has been banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 Iaaf World Championships in London.

The Iaaf, however, has allowed a number of Russian athletes to compete at events as neutrals after showing that they have passed transparent anti-doping testing.

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