IAAF greenlights neutral-status permits for 21 more Russian track and field athletes

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MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has granted its approval to 21 more Russian track and field athletes allowing them to participate under the neutral status at international tournaments this year, the press service of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) announced on Thursday.

The RusAF started accepting neutral status applications from national track and field athletes on December 19 and announced on January 21 that IAAF already granted permissions to 42 Russian athletes. Today’s announced number of 21 more approved applications brings the figure of Russian athletes allowed to compete under the neutral-status this year to 63.

The IAAF Doping Review Board approved on December 18, 2018 an updated version of the Guidance Note for Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) status applications and sent the document to the RusAF.

According to the IAAF regulations, the global athletics body has the right to disregard individual applications unaccompanied by an official document from the RusAF with all the necessary information, which the federation has in regard to a particular applicant. The document must also state whether the RusAF confirms that an applicant is in compliance with all requirements and whether it grants its own approval.

The IAAF suspended RusAF’s membership in late 2015 following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement in order to restore its membership in the global federation.

The IAAF, however, permitted clean athletes from Russia to participate in the international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF was reinstated. IAAF’s previously issued neutral-status permissions for Russian athletes expired on December 31, 2018.

In late December, the IAAF reported that in 2018 the world’s athletics body received more than 200 applications from Russian athletes. A total of 73 Russian athletes were declared eligible to compete as authorized neutral athletes in 2018. Sixty eight applications were denied and six athletes had their ANA status revoked. A number of further applications have been withdrawn or were submitted out of time.

On February 20, RusAF spokeswoman Natalia Yukhareva told TASS that the national athletics federation had already received 201 applications from Russian track and field athletes requesting to grant them a neutral status, of which 186 have been redirected to the IAAF for the final approval.

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