March 6, 2018 / 8:17 PM / 7 months ago

Athletics-IAAF extends Russia's ban, warns of new sanctions

March 6 (Reuters) - Russia's ban from international athletics over widespread doping was extended by the sport's governing body on Tuesday and the country was warned it could face further sanctions this year.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said it would consider next July withdrawing permission for Russian athletes to compete as neutrals "if progress is not made."

It might even consider expelling Russia from the IAAF, it added after a Council meeting held in Birmingham, England.

Russia has been banned from the sport since November 2015 after the McLaren report discovered widespread doping.

Russia's political and sporting leaders have repeatedly denied state involvement in doping, a key sticking point in lifting the ban, although Russian athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals at last year’s world championships.

The IAAF said in a statement issued after its meeting on Tuesday that "while some conditions have been met....several key areas have still not been satisfied by RusAF (Russia's athletics federation) and RUSADA (Russia's anti-doping agency)".

This included a plan for this year "that shows an adequate amount of testing" and fixing legal issues which currently prevent athletics coaches from being provisionally banned.

Russia is still regarded as non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

However, the country has been reinstated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after being banned from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last month where Russians could compete as neutrals. (Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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