The board of the international athletics federation World Athletics has approved the recovery plan drawn up by the Russian Athletics Federation.

The Russians thus escape new sanctions.

Russia should have already implemented the required reforms in its doping policy last year, but World Athletics gave the country a five-month delay at the end of September because it was not satisfied with the first version of the recovery plan.

Because there was no unwillingness, but a lack of money and knowledge, the Russian Federation (RusAF) was postponed until 1 March.

"This is not the end, but the beginning of a long journey," said International Federation President Sebastian Coe.

"The RusAF must do a tremendous amount of work to rebuild confidence. The international experts involved in the creation of this recovery plan believe that the team now in charge is able to take the necessary steps."

The RusAF has been suspended since the end of 2015, after evidence was found of large-scale and structured doping use.

Athletes from Russia have therefore not been welcome at international events for years.

Only if they could demonstrate that they practiced their sport completely doping-free and had no doping history, were they allowed to participate under a neutral flag.

Russian Athletics Federation reinstatement plan approved by World Athletics Council.

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Avatar Author WorldAthletics Moment of places 13:50 - March 1, 2021

Later decision on participation in Games

That does not apply to the European Indoor Championships at the end of this week in Poland.

No Russians are involved at all.

Later this month, the task force dealing with the case will make a recommendation to the World Athletics board regarding the possible neutral flag participation of Russian athletes in the Tokyo Olympics.

“Not a week has passed since my appointment as chairman where I don't have to answer questions about Russia,” says Coe.

"I am extremely grateful to the task force, the experts and RusAF for creating such a detailed roadmap to regain confidence."