MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has removed a criterion that Russian athletes should live and train outside their country in order to compete abroad, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, head of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF), told TASS on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, the IAAF published the list of criteria.
"The IAAF released the criteria required to apply for permission, and in principle, they do not differ much from the criteria they had announced before," Shlyakhtin said. "The IAAF had a criterion that all tested athletes should live abroad but now they have removed this argument. Basically, the move lifts the issues related to our athletes and it will be followed by real applications to compete internationally, and other real things. I would emphasize that it will happen under a neutral (flag)."
Along with this, Shlyakhtin was hoping that the IAAF would be unbiased in allowing Russians to compete in commercial tournaments.
"Now 62 Russian athletes are drawn into the International Testing Pool and a lot depends on the athletes themselves," he continued. "Frankly speaking, the winter European championship is not listed. As for commercial competitions, I think it will happen, by definition, quite objectively," the ARAF head said.
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.