17:30 GMT22 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The refusal of World Athletics to assign a neutral status to Russian athletes until the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) pays a fine is a gross violation of the sporting principle and the rights of athletes, RusAF said in a statement on Thursday.

    "The refusal to issue neutral status to Russian athletes in case of non-payment of a fine by RusAF is a gross violation of the sporting principle and the rights of 'clean' athletes, discrimination of Russian athletes, many of which are the pride of the world athletics family", the statement says.

    RusAF was stripped of its membership in World Athletics in 2015 due to over non-compliance with the obligations to prevent doping. In March 2020, the global athletics body slapped it with a $10 million fine, the first half of which is due to be paid out before 1 July 2020. World Athletics intends to issue neutral status to Russian athletes only after RusAF pays this sum.

    "Russian athletes should be able to obtain neutral status and compete internationally regardless of the situation with RusAF being fined World Athletics. The penalty should be borne by the federation, and not by clean athletes, who passed a strict and tough selection being regularly tested", the statement added.

    The Russian authorities have repeatedly refuted the accusations of running a doping program but acknowledged that the country's athletics had some problems with doping that were being tackled.

    Tags:
    Russian athletes, Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), Russia
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