Russia Taskforce Report to Council Meeting of 2 December 2020 / Rune Andersen. - Monaco : World Athletics, 2020
The chair of the Russian Taskforce Rune Andersen reported on 2 December 2020 that there has been progress on the part of the Russian Federation in developing a meaningful Reinstatement Plan to drive the cultural change required for Russia to return to full international membership of the sport.
Andersen said that a foundation had been laid in recent months for the new RusAF leadership, which was elected on Monday, to put an appropriate plan in place by the deadline of 1 March 2021.
“Well-qualified international experts have been appointed who will work on the ground with RusAF in Russia, helping it to draw up a detailed strategic and operational plan with clear objectives and timelines,” Andersen said.
“A new framework agreement has been put in place that sets out how the Taskforce and the international experts will help RusAF to finalise and implement that plan, and that commits RusAF to continuing to pay the costs incurred by World Athletics in the process. The international experts have already begun working with the senior RusAF management team, and have reported that that team has been very responsive and constructive in its approach.”
The two independent experts appointed by World Athletics to work with RusAF are Margarita Pakhnotskaya, the former deputy Director-General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA, and Vladas Stankevicius, a Russian-speaking change management professional, lawyer and ethics and compliance expert. Former World Anti-Doping Agency international expert Peter Nicholson will support the other two experts remotely.
Andersen confirmed that he had an “open and constructive” first discussion with the new RusAF President Piotr Ivanov yesterday and requested that Ivanov work closely with the international experts to move the plan forward.
“If he puts the necessary commitment and resources behind the project, and wins the support for that effort of RusAF’s key stakeholders in Moscow and in the regions, then the Taskforce and the international experts stand ready to help him achieve the reinstatement of RusAF’s membership of World Athletics and the re-introduction of its athletes to international competition,” Andersen said.
The Council approved revised terms of reference for the Taskforce to reflect these recent developments.
RusAF must meet the deadline of 1 March 2021 and continue to pay the costs associated with the reinstatement process or the Council decision from July this year – to propose that Congress expels RusAF from membership of World Athletics – will come into effect.
The Council will consider whether to allow Russian athletes to compete again as Authorised Neutral Athletes in international competitions (including allowing up to 10 ANAs to participate in World Athletics Series events and the Tokyo Olympic Games) at its next meeting, in March 2021, or earlier if the Taskforce so recommends, based on the progress made by RusAF to that date.