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Russia drops appeal against track and field doping ban

MOSCOW -- Russia's track and field federation has dropped its legal challenge against its ban from international competitions.

Russia has been banned from international meetings since 2015 because of doping, though dozens of top athletes have been allowed to compete by the IAAF in a neutral status.

If the ban isn't lifted by Sept. 27, Russian athletes will compete in Qatar at a second world championships as neutrals.

In September, the Russian federation appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, including a claim it was unfair for the IAAF to require access to evidence of past doping cases stored at a Moscow laboratory. The data and samples are guarded by Russian law enforcement.

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

The next IAAF council meeting in March is unlikely to lift Russia's ban because the World Anti-Doping Agency is still working on analyzing data from the lab before it can request samples for analysis.

Shlyakhtin's federation must also compensate the IAAF's costs for investigating Russian doping, something that Shlyakhtin said in December could take several months.