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30 Jul 2018

Budapest in box seat for 2023 World Championships as IAAF maintains Russia ban

Budapest has been named as the preferred European city to host the IAAF World Championships in 2023, track and field's governing body has declared.

The Hungarian capital, which had been a contender for the 2024 Olympic Games, will now be the subject of a full technical, financial and risk evaluation, with the results to be presented to the IAAF council in December. At that stage a final decision will be made.

Barcelona has also expressed interest, but the IAAF said after a meeting in Buenos Aires on Friday that its ruling council had been "informed of the discussions with European cities and approved the recommendation that Budapest be declared the preferred European city to host the IAAF World Championships in 2023."

Balazs Furjes, the government commissioner for international sports competitions, who led the Budapest 2024 Olympic bid, said in a statement: "We are on the right track, we have come to an important milestone, but there are still many things left until December's decision. In the meantime, we have to work hard to make Budapest the first."

Budapest has never staged the biennial IAAF World Championships before. Doha, Qatar and Eugene, USA will host the 2019 and 2021 editions, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Russia remains suspended from the IAAF until at least the end of the year, despite "significant progress" having been made by the national athletics federation in key areas.

The IAAF even said that RUSAF had gone "above and beyond what was required" in some cases, but noted that council members were "unanimous" in their decision, which came just 10 days before the start of the European Championships in Berlin, to retain the ban.

Rune Andersen, chairman of the Russia Taskforce, said outlined three main requirements still outstanding:

  • Payment of the costs incurred by the IAAF as a result of the Russian doping crisis, including the costs of the Taskforce and the costs of the various CAS cases (RUSAF has made a written commitment to pay all of those costs once they are finalised);
  • Reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency by WADA, which depends upon acknoledgement that ministry of sport officials orchestrated the doping of Russian athletes; and
  • Russian authorities giving access to doping tests carried out at Rusada's Moscow laboratory between 2011 and 2015.
  • The Taskforce explained that it understood WADA was communicating with the Russian authorities to try to resolve these points before the meeting of the WADA executive committee in September.