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Russia submits doping reform plan to World Athletics

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Athletics Federation submitted a draft anti-doping reform plan to World Athletics, the latest step it had to follow to avoid being expelled by the sport's governing body. The Russian federation was on the brink of expulsion after missing a July 1 deadline to pay World Athletics $6.3 million in a fine and other costs but was reprieved when the Russian sports ministry provided the funds six weeks later. It had to submit the draft plan by Monday.

“The draft plan reflects a range of measures which RusAF intends to consistently implement as part of the reinstatement process,” the federation, known as RusAF, said on Monday. “Among the main points are the strengthening preventative and anti-doping work, structural reform of RusAF and the (Russian) regional federations.” The plan has not been made public.

World Athletics’ Russia task force has until Sept. 30 to make any changes it sees fit before RusAF implements it. World Athletics confirmed it received the plan. “The Taskforce will now review the plan and advise RusAF of any improvements it requires, which must be incorporated to the Taskforce’s satisfaction by 30 September 2020,” World Athletics said in an emailed statement.

The World Athletics council said in March that RusAF must aim to “ingrain throughout Russian athletics a zero tolerance for doping culture.” It's the latest attempt to resolve an impasse between World Athletics and RusAF, which is still serving a suspension imposed in 2015 over widespread doping. Previous efforts took a hit last year when senior RusAF officials, who have since left the organization, were accused of using forged medical documents to give an athlete an alibi for being unavailable for drug testing.

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