IAAF releases criteria Russians should meet to compete as neutral athletes

IAAF releases criteria Russians should meet to compete as neutral athletes

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has released criteria that Russian athletes should meet so as to apply for permission to participate in international competitions as neutral athletes, the IAAF press service said on Jan. 3.

"One of the criteria requires athletes to show they are not directly implicated in any way (knowingly or unknowingly) by their national federation's failure to put in place adequate systems to protect and promote clean athletes," the statement says.

Besides, coaches, doctors or other support persons who the athletes have been working with should not be implicated in any anti-doping rule violations. Also, the criteria include how many samples have been collected from the athlete before.

The IAAF added that being one of the athletes tested by independent agencies "does not mean that athletes will automatically be considered eligible to compete in 2017" as lots of other factors would be taken into account.

In 2015, the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement to restore its membership in the global federation.

In mid-June of 2016, the IAAF Council ruled it was still too early to restore Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) membership in the international organization subsequently extending the suspension of Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games in August. Later, the IAAF anti-doping agency turned down Russian field and track athletes’ individual applications, except the one filed by three-time European champion Daria Klishina.

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