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Athletics' World Body Upholds Russia Ban Imposed Over Doping Scandal

Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF task force on Russia (file photo)

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has decided to maintain a ban imposed on Russia's athletics federation more than three years ago over doping.

Rune Andersen, head of the doping task force for the world governing body for track and field, said on March 11 that two “outstanding issues” need to be resolved for Russia to be reinstated.

Speaking after a council meeting of top officials in Qatar, Andersen said that the ban will remain in place until analytical data and samples collected from Moscow's former anti-doping laboratory earlier this year are made available.

"Logistical" issues have also held up financial compensation, including for the task force's costs, he said.

Athletics' governing body banned Russia in November 2015 after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency outlined evidence of systematic, state-backed doping in Russian athletics.

Another report a year later documented more than 1,000 doping cases across dozens of sports, most notably at the Winter Olympics that Russia hosted in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014.

Russian athletes have had to meet strict criteria such as undergoing regular doping tests outside Russia in order to be allowed to compete in international competitions as neutrals -- and not under their national flag.

Russian officials have acknowledged that doping has been widespread but denied that it had been state sponsored.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and the BBC