On the cusp of the IAAF world championships London games next month, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) may reinstate the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) in early August. ARAF membership was severely impacted by the 2015 report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that exposed systematic state-sponsored doping in Russia. The issue was so problematic that ARAF’s membership was suspended and the IAAF denied 67 Russian applications in July 2016 for athletes to compete internationally as “neutral” individuals. IAAF approved the application of seven Russians to compete as neutral athletes in April 2017.
However according to the Russian new agency, Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS), the head of ARAF’s sports department announced an anticipated decision on the reinstatement of athletes within four weeks. Andrei Kruporushnikov said “the IAAF is likely to make a decision on the reinstatement of ARAF’s right either on August 2-3, otherwise it may decide on the extension of sanctions”. The April cyber-attack against the IAAF website that compromised athletes’ personal data in the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) database by FANCY BEAR highlights the gravity of balancing IAAF’s mission while protecting data against sports targeted attacks. Industry peers and members of the Sports-ISAO community will be monitoring the outcome of IAAF’s decision as Fancy Bear’s attack provided dox material containing sensitive biological information that has been leaked ahead of the London games.