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VIENNA, June 17. /TASS/. Russian athletes will be able to apply for permission to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil if they show that they took no banned substances, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement on Friday.
"If there are any individual athletes who can clearly and convincingly show that they are not tainted by the Russian system because they have been outside the country, and subject to other, effective anti-doping systems, including effective drug-testing, then they should be able to apply for permission to compete in International Competitions, not for Russia but as a neutral athlete," IAAF said.
Earlier on Friday the IAAF Council voted for extending Russia’s suspension from athletics, which means that Russian field and track athletes are currently ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
"Any individual athlete who has made an extraordinary contribution to the fight against doping in sport should also be able to apply for such permission. In particular, Yuliya Stepanova's case should be considered favorably," IAAF said citing recommendations of Rune Andersen, the IAAF Taskforce independent chairperson.
The Taskforce was set up to oversee the implementation of reforms in the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), necessary for the restoration of Russia’s membership in the global organization.
The doping scandal with Russian athletes erupted in December 2014 after the German TV Channel ARD aired a documentary entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case). The documentary said that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.
The main characters in the documentary were athlete Yulia Stepanova and her husband Vitaly Stepanov who used to work for RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency). After the documentary was aired by the German TV channel, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) set up a commission to investigate the case.
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.