Athletics doping watchdog recommends excluding Russia from global federation
The Athletics Integrity Unit has recommended that World Athletics expel Russia from the global federation, the doping watchdog announced on Wednesday.
In a statement, the AIU said that it had made recommendations "to consider imposing the severest possible consequences", including "considering the expulsion of RusAF (the Russian athletics federation) from the membership of World Athletics".
The AIU's announcement comes after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided last month to ban Russia for four years from major global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data.
Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA quickly announced that it would appeal the ban, as President Vladimir Putin claimed the ban was "politically motivated".
However sources told AFP earlier this month that a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is not expected before May, just weeks before the Games open in Tokyo on July 24.
The doping scandal has brought fierce criticism of RusAF from several prominent athletes, including three-time high-jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene.
Lasitskene has been a vocal critic of the Russian sporting authorities, and has already warned she would quit Russia and train elsewhere so as not to miss the Tokyo Olympics.