The Latest: Mutko writes open letter to help Russia’s case


VIENNA (AP) — The Latest on the IAAF’s meeting on Russia (all times local):

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11:20 a.m.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has written an open letter aimed at persuading the IAAF to allow his country’s track and field athletes to compete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF will decide later Friday whether to readmit Russia, which was suspended in November following a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report detailing systematic, state-sponsored doping.

Mutko writes that Russia has reformed its anti-doping system and that a ban from Rio for the entire track team would be unfair collective punishment for a problem which also exists in other countries.

He adds that “Russia has done everything that IAAF independent commission has rightly asked of us in order to be reinstated to athletic competition.”

Mutko does not address a new report Wednesday from WADA which said drug testers faced continued obstruction in Russia.

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11:10 a.m.

Track and field’s world governing body is meeting to decide whether to allow Russian track and field athletes to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The IAAF’s ruling council convened in Vienna on Friday to consider whether to uphold or lift the suspension of Russia’s track and field federation.

The ban was imposed in November following a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission that alleged state-sponsored doping, cover-ups and corruption.

Russian officials claim they have met the conditions for reinstatement, but a new WADA report issued Wednesday cited continuing obstruction and violations of drug-testing in Russia.

Even if the IAAF decides to maintain the ban on the Russian federation, it could also consider a compromise that would allow individual athletes with a proven clean doping record to compete in the games.