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Russia Withdraws Appeal Against Doping Ban

Russia's athletics federation has said it will withdraw its appeal against its ban from international competition.

The federation said on January 25 that its withdrawal of the appeal was connected to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decision this week not to suspend RUSADA, Russia's antidoping agency, despite Moscow missing a deadline to hand over laboratory data.

The federation had filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in September against a decision by the world governing body for track and field, the IAAF, to extend the ban that was imposed in November 2015 after a study commissioned by WADA found that the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes in Russia was systemic and state-sponsored.

To be reinstated, the IAAF has said Russia also must acknowledge the findings of that report -- including an admission that doping in Russia was state-sponsored.

Russia has accepted that doping has been widespread. But authorities in Moscow continue to deny any of it was state sponsored.

"I'm convinced that at the moment we need to focus efforts on negotiations with the IAAF regarding the reinstatement on issues which are under our control, and not waste time and strength on legal processes," Russian athletics federation President Dmitry Shlyakhtin said in a statement.

Despite the ban, several Russian athletes have been cleared to compete internationally as neutrals after demonstrating they are training in doping-free environments.

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