The head of World Athletics claims Russia

Updated: Jul 19

Russians won't be competing in the 2018 World Championships, according to Sebastian Coe.

Sebastian Coe, the president of the World Athletics Federation, stated that it was "inconceivable" for Russian athletes to compete in this week's World Championships given the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine.

In preparation for the tournament, which will begin on Friday and last through July 24 in Eugene, Oregon, Coe was speaking to the media on Thursday.

Following an International Olympic Committee (IOC) proposal that has been questioned by athletes like Olympic champion high jumper Maria Lasitskene, World Athletics banned Russian athletes at the end of February.

The three-time world champion criticized Coe for his attitude toward her nation in an unanswered open letter to IOC president Thomas Bach last month, but Coe insisted that this has not changed.

Coe defended the first choice, saying, "It was decided from a very clear position, and that was about the integrity of the competition."

He continued, calling Belarus and Russia "two hostile nations that have walked into an autonomous state," and said it "would have been impossible" to hold a World Championships here with athletes from those countries.

World Athletics, one of the first federations to follow the IOC's recommendations, has committed not to change its stance "for the foreseeable future," according to Coe.

He continued, "I sort of feel like it's Season 17, Box Set 126," after getting an update from the task group evaluating how Russia is adhering to the plan for reinstatement following a doping crisis.

Due to penalties resulting from the scandal, Russians have previously competed at events like the Olympics under neutral status or for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) squad. The findings of an independent audit of the Russian Federation will be presented at a World Athletics meeting in November. Therefore, Russian athletes will continue to be prohibited until at least that time.

Changes to the regulations governing the participation of transgender athletes will also be considered at that time. Coe has already expressed support for actions taken by organizations like the international swimming federation FINA, which in June banned all trans athletes who had participated in any phase of the male puberty process while promising to establish a new "open category."

When it comes down to it, if the choice is between inclusiveness and fairness, we will always choose fairness - that's a non-negotiable for me," Coe declared at the time in response to the development.

This was underlined by him on Thursday, when he said that while inclusion "has truly been a watchword," "the balance between inclusivity and fairness will always, in my view, fall on the side of fairness"

Given that Coe has already said that World Athletics holds the view "that biology trumps gender," this may portend the impending implementation of stricter regulations by the organization.

"In light of this, we will keep reviewing our regulations. We'll adhere to science, "And he committed.

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