MOSCOW (AP) — The CEO of the Russian anti-doping agency predicted Friday that the country's track team won't be reinstated in time for the upcoming world athletics championships.
The Russian team has been suspended from international track and field since 2015 over widespread doping, though dozens are allowed to compete as neutral athletes and 29 have been entered for the Sept. 27-Oct. 6 championships in Qatar.
The last chance for reinstatement before the world championships is the IAAF council on Monday, four days before the championships begin.
"All the information I have, which I can't reveal, speaks to the (Russian track federation) not being reinstated," Russian anti-doping agency CEO Yuri Ganus told the state Tass news agency.
Russia previously sent a neutral squad to the 2017 world championships. Athletes from the neutral team do not wear national colors and the IAAF anthem is played if they win a gold medal.
Ganus pointed to ongoing analysis of data from the Moscow anti-doping lab and an investigation into suspended high jumper Daniil Lysenko as reasons for reinstatement being delayed again.
Lysenko has been accused of failing to provide information about his whereabouts to drug testers, and the Russian track federation allegedly filed fake medical documents in his defense. Lysenko is the reigning world indoor high jump champion.
Ganus also told Tass that the independence of his agency, known as RUSADA, was under threat amid a raft of legal challenges in Russia.
Russian prosecutors are investigating his agency's conduct in the Lysenko case, and Ganus claimed the Russian Olympic Committee was trying to take control of RUSADA's annual auditing process.