Coe hopeful Russia on track to get ban lifted in 2017


IAAF president Sebastian Coe is hopeful that Russia's athletics ban will be lifted by the end of this year as the decision to impose the sanction is "beginning to bear fruit".

The IAAF imposed a blanket ban on Russian track and field athletes in November 2015 after the European nation was accused of engaging in state-sponsored doping in the first instalment of the McLaren report.

That suspension remained in place for the Olympic Games and the World Championships in August look set to come too soon for Russia to be deemed compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Russia President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday admitted his country's anti-doping system has "failed" and said they must heed the demands of the McLaren report.

Coe is encouraged by the progress Russia is making and is optimistic that they are on the right track to ensure athletes can return to international competition.

Asked if Russia could be readmitted in 2017, Coe told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I hope that there is a real possibility of that. There is of course the compliance through WADA of RUSADA - the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

"The IAAF's objective is to make sure that the federation is fit for purpose, it has the right people in, and it meets the criteria.

"So it does look as though things are coming together and no sport has worked more closely, it's federation in Russia, than athletics.

"We set up the taskforce over a year ago, we have driven this through process and I'd like to say the tough decision that we made is actually beginning to bear fruit."