Seven more Russian athletes permitted to compete internationally

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The IAAF has confirmed that seven more Russian athletes will be eligible to compete at this year’s World Championships in London under a neutral banner.

Russia has been banned from international competition since November 2015 for alleged state-sponsored doping, which saw them miss out on the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Despite this, Russian athletes can still apply to compete under a neutral banner provided they demonstrate compliancy with the current drugs testing criteria.

The athletes approved to compete include Sergey Shubenkov and Mariya Kuchina, who hold respective world titles in the 110m hurdles and high jump.

Shubenkov had earlier expressed his disappointment at being prevented from competed at the Olympics, telling the BBC that “no-one cares my career is ruined”.

However, the 26-year-old, along with Kuchina, could now be set to defend their titles at London in August, but will still need approval from the organisers of the competition before they can.

The IAAF has also permitted pole vaulters Illia Mudrov and Olga Mullina, race walkers Sergey Shirobokov and Yana Smerdova, and high jumper Daniil Tsyplakov to compete at London in August.

This adds to the five athletes that have previously been cleared to compete, which includes the original whistle-blower on Russia’s doping scandal Yuliya Stepanova.

A total of 17 applications have also been declined so far, with IAAF President Sebastian Coe aiming to “safeguard the rights and aspirations of the world’s clean athletes”.

Coe stated: “There can be no time constraints on a process which has been established to safeguard the rights and aspirations of the world’s clean athletes and is about rebuilding confidence in competition.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, as we have consistently stated from the beginning of this process, all athletes given exceptional eligibility will compete as independent neutral athletes and not as a Russian team.”


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First published on: 11 April, 2017 12:00 am