TASS, July 3. The head of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA), Yevgeny Yurchenko, expressed disappointment with the position of the International Association of Athletics Federations (World Athletics) regarding the Russian organization. Yurchenko’s comment is quoted by the VFLA press service.
On Thursday, World Athletics postponed consideration of the issue of issuing neutral status to Russian athletes until the end of July, as the VFLA did not pay a fine of $ 5 million.
“The decisions made in yesterday’s statement by World Athletics caused me deep disappointment. Failure to issue a neutral status is a severe blow to athletes. I said earlier and I didn’t change my opinion, in my opinion, linking the issuance of a neutral status to the payment of a fine in the case “Lysenko is an unacceptable step, but World Athletics took this step. I am very sorry that in this situation the main blow – a terrible, catastrophic one – falls on our athletes, who are hostages of the mistakes that were made by people known to us in the previous period,” said Yurchenko.
“The payment of fines in the current economic situation turned out to be unbearable for us, the federation does not have such funds. The global economic crisis associated with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic did not bypass the VFLA, which was in an extremely unstable financial condition before the pandemic. I commented I’d like to repeat earlier that we cannot solve the problem of paying fines on our own. At the same time, we have done everything possible to find these funds, “he added.
Yurchenko also noted that VFLA will continue to negotiate to find a way out of the crisis: “World Athletics, unfortunately, refuses to take into account the economic and epidemiological situation and the damage that was caused by the pandemic in Russia and the world. We will continue negotiations on possible ways out of this crisis. “
VFLA membership in World Athletics was suspended in November 2015 based on an investigation conducted by the WADA commission led by Richard Pound. Later, a working group was formed, headed by Andersen, which, together with the Russian side, implements points of restoration of the organization. Russian athletes for the period of temporary deprivation of VFLA membership in World Athletics can only compete in neutral athletes at international starts (with the exception of the Olympic, European and Military Games). Currently, no athlete has received such a status.