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IAAF decision to help Russian athletes to succeed at World Championships — deputy premier

July 02, 0:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On July 1, IAAF permitted neutral athletes to be accompanied by coaches

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MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. The decision made by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), granting neutral athletes the right to be accompanied by one person accredited for the World Championships, will help Russian athletes achieve success at the London World Championships, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS.

On July 1, the IAAF published regulations concerning neutral athletes’ participation in competitions. In particular, the IAAF said that "each neutral athlete is entitled to be accompanied by one person who is accredited for the period of the World Championships and may also apply for one Personal Coach Package… for an additional person."

"Of course, it will make the task easier for our athletes," Mutko said. "An athlete cannot be alone at a tournament, they need coaches to turn to during intervals, to ask for advice," he added.

"At least some decision has been made. It is time the [suspension] issue is solved, because our athletes are under control. What do they want from our guys? Punish those who are guilty of doping, but what has this to do with clean athletes?" Mutko added.

The IAAF suspended the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) in November 2015 following an investigation carried out by the Independent Commission chaired by Canadian lawyer Richard Pound. The investigation was based on assertions related to an alleged state-sponsored doping system in Russia.

The IAAF decided that until the membership of the ARAF is restored, Russian athletes could participate in tournaments as neutrals. Fourteen Russian athletes, including Maria Lasitskene (nee Kuchina), Sergey Shubenkov, Darya Klishina, Vera Rebrik and Anzhelika Sidorova, were cleared to compete as neutrals, as well as nine junior athletes.

The 2017 IAAF World Championships will be held in the British capital of London on August 4-13.

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