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Statement from USATF President and IAAF Council Member Stephanie Hightower on the IAAF Council action to provisionally suspend the Russian Federation


Council examined this matter very thoughtfully, fully aware of the extraordinary action we ultimately decided to take. The WADA report was clear in its evidence and unequivocal in its recommendations. From Council’s perspective, in light of the evidence, suspension was the only proper course of action. The IAAF has an obligation to protect athletes, and this action sends a clear message to clean athletes that protecting them and protecting the sport, with a culture of accountability, is our top priority. It is my hope as a Council member that this process also will spur a review of the IAAF governance structure, and that we will act to implement WADA’s recommendations of instituting an ombudsman and compliance officer. Although this is a difficult time, in the long term, the sport ultimately will be stronger for it.


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