Athletes From Russia Unlikely To Return To Track And Field Before Olympics, Says Athletics Boss, Seb Coe

World Athletics president Seb Coe believes it’s unlikely that athletes from Russia will be reinstated to international track and field competition before the 2024 Paris Olympics.

World Athletics was one of the several international sports federations to bar Russia and Belarus athletes from their competitions.

This came after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, using Belarus as a staging ground.

“Unlikely, but look I don’t have a crystal ball,” Coe said on Thursday, (Today), just two days before the world championships open in Budapest.

He continued, “We will of course monitor that situation … what might the circumstances look like if there is any shift in the situation, but I have to say that looks unlikely at the moment given where we are with the events in Ukraine.”

“Our position is very clear,” Coe said Thursday. “I would be very surprised if there was any shift in that position. I think that we have certainty, and we have done it for reasons of integrity of competition.”

In March, Russia’s track and field federation was reinstated from a seven-year suspension over doping violations, but athletes from that nation, and from Belarus, remain barred from international competition due to the war.

Last November, Coe was asked what it would take to lift the ban, he said, “I think it’s fairly simple. Get out of Ukraine.”

Coe is one of 26 members of the World Athletics council that decides on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes.

Athletes must compete internationally by June 30 for the chance to qualify outright for the Paris Games.

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