Russia marked five years under suspension from international track and field on Friday, with its return from the doping sanction seemingly still far away.
Russia was suspended in 2015 by World Athletics, then known as the IAAF, after investigations found widespread doping and cover-ups. Runner Yulia Stepanova and her husband, former anti-doping official Vitaly Stepanov, testified and provided undercover footage showing top athletes appearing to discuss using banned substances.
Since then, Russians have been primarily competing at track meets as neutral athletes without national symbols.
“When even five years isn’t enough to get back your flag and anthem,” three-time world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene, a prominent voice criticizing the slow pace of reform, wrote on Instagram on Friday.
She added an ironic “thank you” to the Russian Sports Ministry, Russian Athletics Federation…