Press Release22 Nov 2019

Belgrade and Yangzhou to host 2022 World Athletics Series competitions, RusAF reinstatement process suspended


World Athletics President Sebastian Coe with Serbian Athletics Federation President Veselin Jevrosimovic (left) and Yangzhou Vice Mayor Yu Ting (right) (© Philippe Fitte)

Serbia will stage its first ever World Athletics Series event after its capital, Belgrade, was confirmed as the host city of the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships at the World Athletics Council Meeting in Monaco on Friday (22).

Belgrade has staged several major track and field events over the years – including the 1962 European Championships, 2013 European Cross Country Championships, 2017 European Indoor Championships and the 2017 Balkan Championships.

Belgrade’s Stark Arena, which seats 18,386 for sporting events, has been used for the 2009 Universiade, the Davis and Fed Cup, the World Championships in karate, and the World Cup finals in volleyball.

The Chinese city of Yangzhou has been confirmed as the host city of the 2022 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships.

China, one of the fastest-growing markets in road running, has 24 World Athletics Label road races in 2019, more than any other country. It hosted the World Half Marathon Championships in 2010 in Nanning and will stage next year’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing.

Yangzhou, a city of 4.5 million people, stages an annual Gold Label half marathon. The course records of 59:52 and 1:07:21, set by Mosinet Geremew in 2015 and Peres Jepchirchir in 2016 respectively, are the fastest times ever recorded in China.

“We’re very pleased to announce that Belgrade will host the 2022 World Indoor Championships and Yangzhou will host the World Half Marathon Championships,” said Coe. “Both presentations were comprehensive and we are very excited about going there.”

RusAF reinstatement process suspended

The World Athletics Council announced today that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) reinstatement process has been suspended, pending the resolution of the recent charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

On Thursday (21), the AIU charged RusAF with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity.

The Taskforce, chaired by Rune Andersen, made the following recommendations that were approved by Council:

  • Council immediately suspends the RusAF reinstatement process, pending resolution of the AIU’s charges.
  • Council mandates the members of the Taskforce and the Doping Review Board to review the ‘Authorised Neutral Athlete’ (ANA) mechanism that Council put in place in June 2016, and to make recommendations to Council as to whether that mechanism can and should continue to be used given the recent developments, and in what form. Any ANA applications received in the interim to be held in abeyance pending such review.
  • Council mandates the Taskforce to make recommendations to Council as to the sanctions that Council should impose on RusAF if it is determined that RusAF has breached its obligations under the anti-doping rules, and whether Congress should be asked to consider the expulsion of RusAF from membership of World Athletics.

Russia Taskforce report to World Athletics Council - 22 November 2019

“There is an ongoing process and we have to respect that process,” said Andersen. “There are charges laid by the AIU which we need to respect, and the AIU needs to receive feedback from RusAF by 12 December. When we have the answers from the AIU on what has been going on and what the process will be, then we will convene and look at the whole structure and we will come up with recommendations to the council.”

“This is a process that has served us well,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “It is neither symbolic nor have we done it to benchmark ourselves against anything else other than we felt was absolutely the right decision for our sport. It may not make us universally popular, but it is really important that we continue with the process we began in November 2015. The recommendation that was given to us today, and unanimously accepted by the council, was in the spirit of that process. We will take this through to wherever we need to take it to protect the athletes and the sport.”

Coe also welcomed Athletes’ Commission chairperson Renaud Lavillenie and deputy chairperson Valerie Adams to the Council, as they became the first active athletes to join the sport’s decision-making body as full voting members.

World Athletics