— Published 10 December 2020

The Russians will still have to wait

Russian athletes will have to be patient. Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, confirmed it during an interview with a group of journalists: there is no question for the international body to seek to accelerate the roadmap for the possible relocation of the Russian Athletics Federation. There is also no question of rushing the process of granting the Russians neutral athlete status for international competitions, including the Tokyo Games in 2021. “We have a very clear timetable for the recovery of the RusAF”, explained the British leader. “We know its new president, who has just been elected (Piotr Ivanov). The path to reintegration is well under control, it is largely overseen by the World Athletics task force, I see no reason to deviate from it. We will wait until next March to receive the RusAF reform and reorganisation proposal. When we receive it, we will review the status of neutral athletes, but not before. We will stick to this process until the end. I really think we are going in the right direction”. With some exceptions, unlikely to believe Sebastian Coe, Russian athletes should not be able to participate in indoor competitions for the coming season, including the Worlds in China. And they will have to wait until spring, at the earliest, to find out if they will have a chance to see the Tokyo Games.