Athletics New Zealand supports the decision by the IAAF to continue the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF).

An IAAF appointed Inspection Team was tasked with determining if the ARAF are meeting the verification criteria, set after consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The Investigation Team was to recommend whether the Russian Federation could resume participating in international athletics competitions.

Athletics NZ Chief Executive Linda Hamersley said after the announcement on Saturday morning (NZ time) that Athletics NZ supports the process put in place by the IAAF under President Lord Sebastian Coe.

"We understand the process has been robust and that the IAAF Inspection Team are not satisfied that ARAF are fully compliant with the verification criteria," Hamersley said.

"We endorsed Lord Coe in the 2015 IAAF elections as the best person to lead the sport through some difficult times. We are pleased with the changes that have been made in governance structures to date by Coe."

"We acknowledge the job being done by WADA and Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) to keep sport clean and will continue to work with them," she added.

Athletics NZ High Performance Director Scott Goodman said it is good that New Zealand athletes heading to the 2016 Rio Olympics will have some certainty around who they will be facing in Rio.

"Our athletes can now focus on competing in Rio on what we hope will be a level playing field," said Goodman.

"We want young athletes aspiring to be future Olympians to know that the sport is working hard to have a clean, drug-free environment for them," he added.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand