For years now, athletes in Russia have lived under a dark cloud over doping cases at the professional level.
This week, two world bodies will make important decisions that determine future inclusion of Russia in international sporting events.
From Moscow, CGTN’s Ross Cullen explains.
Thousands of runners brave the autumn wind and rain in Moscow for the city’s annual marathon.
Russia’s athletics federation had its world membership suspended four years ago. After a report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping. One of those running in this marathon is Iskander Yadgarov.
He’s been affected by the ban, unable to compete overseas as a Russian athlete.
On this day, two hours and 18 minutes after he started, Yadgarov won the race. He says the ban penalizes clean sportsmen and women.
“It seems to me that there had been some problems in Russia but many of them have been solved. And it’s frustrating that they keep extending the ban. For example, I want to compete abroad but I can’t and I haven’t done anything wrong. Why should I be punished?” said Yadgarov.
The IAAF has voted 11 times to keep Russia from rejoining the world athletics body
They say it needs more evidence Russia is enforcing doping bans. And that all Russian athletes have embraced the change to a new anti-doping culture
Russia is enjoying a period in an overall positive sporting spotlight. Last year the country had its Olympic membership re-instated and it was the host of the men’s football World Cup.
Russia has also just played their first match at this year’s men’s Rugby World Cup. But the country’s athletes remain banned from international track and field events.
Russia was re-admitted to the World Anti-Doping Agency last year, despite submitting some doping samples that the agency described as ‘most suspicious.’
If the latest data supplied by Russa has been manipulated once more, Russia could be banned again from Olympic competition.
After four years without any athletes to cheer under a Russian flag. Many of Sunday’s runners think the ban is unfair.
Since the ban came into effect, Russians have been competing as so-called Authorized Neutral Athletes.
A move designed to show that those not playing by the rules would not only affect their own career but those of other, clean athletes as well.