KAZAN, RUSSIA – JULY 19, 2018: Athletes prepare for a race during the 2018 Russian national track and field championships. Yegor Aleyev/TASS Ðîññèÿ. Êàçàíü. Ñïîðòñìåíû íà ñòàðòå çàáåãà âî âðåìÿ ÷åìïèîíàòà Ðîññèè ïî ëåãêîé àòëåòèêå. Åãîð Àëååâ/ÒÀÑÑ

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The press service of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) announced on Tuesday a final list of four candidates for the presidential post in the country’s governing body of track and field athletics.

The candidates are Yevgeny Yurchenko, a member of the Board of Directors of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC); Oleg Kurbatov, the head of the Moscow Athletics Federation; sports manager Mikhail Gusev; and the 2004 Olympic champion in 800-meter running and the head coach of the Russian national track and field athletics team, Yury Borzakovsky.

The federation’s press service reported on January 30 that seven people submitted their candidacies to run for the post of RusAF’s president, but would not disclose the names.

In all, forty-four people have been registered running for the seats in the Presidium of RusAF and three people for the Control Review Commission of RusAF.

World Athletics, which was previously known as the International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF, suspended RusAF’s membership in late 2015 following a chain of doping abuse scandals in Russia’s track and field sports. The suspension of Russia’s governing athletics body has been ruled to remain in force 12 times since its introduction in 2015 with the most recent decision made on September 23, before the start of the 2019 World Championships in Qatar’s Doha on September 27-October 6.

The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to suspend RusAF’s reinstatement process based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). According to the World Athletics, the AIU charged RusAF on November 21, 2019 “with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity.”

Then-President of RusAF Dmitry Shlyakhtin and three more high-ranking people from the federation were provisionally suspended for allegedly helping to falsify documents, which Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko presented as his excuse for skipping doping tests. Shlyakhtin and the three officials at the issue submitted their letters of resignation on November 23.

On January 29, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) recommended World Athletics to consider an expulsion of RusAF from the list of its members in case the Russian side failed to provide evidence in the Lysenko case. The Russian side was advised to review the case once again and to come up with answers in regard to accusations on this issue.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin signed a decree on January 31 to suspend RusAF’s state accreditation until March 1, 2020.

On February 3, the Presidium of RusAF resigned and handed over its authorities for the organization of the federation’s election conference as well as for cooperation with international organizations to the Working Group of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). The election conference of RusAF is scheduled for February 28.

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