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Athletics-Kazakhstan Added to World Athletics’ Competition Manipulation Watch List

(Reuters) – Kazakhstan has been placed on World Athletics’ watch list following an investigation of suspicious competition results conducted by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the sport’s governing body said on Wednesday.

If a country is on the watch list, any results achieved at competitions held by the member federation on their territory will not be recognized by World Athletics.

This affects an athlete’s chances of qualifying for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest this year and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris unless they take part in international competitions recognized by the governing body.

“This decision reflects the high degree of risk of results manipulation within the member federation’s territory and not the conduct of individual officials or specific cases,” World Athletics said in a statement.

“The World Athletics Competition Department will work with the Kazakhstan Federation to improve and reform their competition procedures.

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“Its position on the watch list will be kept under review by the Council until such a time as they are able to demonstrate that they should be removed.”

The Kazakhstan Athletics Federation did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Other countries on the watch list are Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkey and Uzbekistan, which have all been on the list since September.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters,

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