Coe confident of “full house” at 2019 worlds in Qatar
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Sebastian Coe wants to see a “full house” of countries competing at the track and field world championships in Qatar next year, and that includes Russia.
The international track and field federation president was in Jakarta on Sunday for the Asian Games, where he was asked about political tension in the Gulf since a Saudi-led economic blockade of Qatar and the potential absence of Russian athletes affecting the 2019 competition in Doha.
“We will be in Qatar. I want every federation to be there,” Coe said in an interview with international news agencies. “I see no reason why federations shouldn’t.
“It’s very important that international sport maintains its primacy — picking your partnerships around politics can be a pretty transient process if you’re not careful. I’m confident we’ll have a full house in Qatar.”
The IAAF last month said that Russia could be provisionally reinstated to international track and field competition in December if it meets certain conditions, ending a suspension that started in November 2015 after a World Anti-Doping Agency report detailed widespread, state-sponsored doping in the sport.
IAAF’s Russia task force head Rune Andersen said the Russians were making strides in meeting the outstanding requirements and, in some cases, had “gone above and beyond what is required.”
The three conditions that have to be met before Russia can be readmitted to international competition include payment for costs incurred by the IAAF as a result of the scandal, the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, and for the government to allow access to data from doping tests conducted at RUSADA’s Moscow laboratory from 2011-15.
Coe said Andersen’s taskforce was waiting for WADA to determine the compliance of the Moscow lab and would report back in November.
The two-time Olympic champion said he was confident in the progress and “I’m grateful to the Russian federation for re-engineering itself.”
“The twin challenge is not just to create a system that gets us through the initial difficulty,” he said, referring to the fight against doping more broadly. “It’s also to have a system that creates and embeds change. It’s not just about Russia.”