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IAAF Votes To Extend Russia's Suspension From World Athletics Body

The governing body for world track and field has voted to keep a ban on Russian athletes amid concerns the country may have manipulated data from its Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on September 25 that 164 of its 194 members had voted to keep the suspension of Russia, with 30 votes against.

In June, the IAAF had given Russia three months to demonstrate it was making progress in cleaning up its drug-monitoring systems.

But on September 23, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it had begun compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) over "inconsistencies" in the data it supplied at the start of the year.

"We have a non-negotiable position. We set out criteria and they have to be met in full. There must be a real understanding when a suspended federation comes back into the international fold," IAAF President Sebastian Coe, who was reelected to a second term earlier in the day, said.

Russia has been suspended from international track-and-field competitions since 2015, after revelations of widespread doping. Russia's hosting of the 2014 Sochi Olympics was tarnished by revelations of a government-organized effort to mask samples from athletes using banned substances.

RUSAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin argued ahead of the vote that "RUSAF has changed and supports all initiatives." However, the WADA proceedings appeared to undermine that claim.

About 30 "clean" Russian athletes have been cleared to compete as neutrals at the World Championships in athletics starts on September 27 in Qatar.

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