Number of neutral-status applications from Russian track and field athletes exceeds 200

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MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) has received 201 applications from national athletes requesting to grant them a neutral status, of which 186 have been sent to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the final approval, RusAF spokeswoman Natalia Yukhareva told TASS on Wednesday.

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 document, “Athletes who were granted ANA status in 2018 are able to re-apply for eligibility in 2019 by completing a simplified application form.”

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.

“As of of the morning of February 18, we [RusAF] have received a total of 201 applications from national athletes and 186 of them were forwarded to IAAF,” Yukhareva said.

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.

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