Russian sports minister: Track squad earned reinstatement

Russian Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov. (Alexei Druzhinin/Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW — Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov says the country’s track team has earned the right to be reinstated in time for the world championships despite another wave of doping cases.

Kolobkov says "we have long since earned this. I think it’s in the interest of all of international athletics because we have great athletes."

Russia was barred from international track and field competitions in 2015 because of widespread doping, though more than 80 Russians are allowed to compete as neutral athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency said Wednesday that about 100 new doping cases could be opened in various sports after analysis of data from Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory. Kolobkov says "I don’t think it has any connection" to the track team’s reinstatement.
The world track championships start on Sept. 27 in Qatar.

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