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KHIMKI /Moscow Region/, May 12. /TASS/. Russian track and field athletes should be allowed competing under a neutral flag in view of a ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) over doping allegations, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.
"It would be definitely desirable to see all of our athletes competing under the Russian national flag, as we are all citizens of Russia, we are proud of our country and we love it," Medvedev said during his meeting with Russian track and field athletes at a training camp in Moscow Region’s Novogorsk.
"I do understand that an athlete has an individual age of a physical shape that you gain and it is not infinite," Medvedev said.
Last month, the IAAF announced its decision to grant the right for several Russian track and field athletes to take part in the international competitions as neutral athletes. Athletes of former Soviet republics, including Russia, participated under a neutral flag in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Spain following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
In early January, the IAAF issued criteria, which Russian track and field athletes should meet in order to file applications for participating in international competitions as neutral athletes. All applications had to be submitted with the IAAF via ARAF.