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IAAF: Russian athletes with ANA status free to take part in 2019 Military World Games

The competition will be held in China's Wuhan on October 18-27
IAAF headquarters in Monaco EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
IAAF headquarters in Monaco

MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has no intentions of obstructing the participation of Russian track and field athletes in the 2019 Military World Games in China’s Wuhan, IAAF Communications Manager Yannis Nikolaou told TASS on Monday.

However, in case the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) is not reinstated with the IAAF by the start of the 7th CISM (International Military Sports Council) Military World Games in China, the right to participate in the tournament will be restricted to those Russian athletes, who were previously granted the status of the Authorized National Athlete (ANA) by the IAAF.

"As the CISM World Games are organized in accordance with the International Military Sports Council, the IAAF determines eligibility of athletes and the Armed Forces Sports Council of each country selects the team from the eligible athletes," Nikolau stated to TASS.

"While RusAF remains suspended from membership of the IAAF, its athletes are ineligible to compete in international competition unless they are granted exceptional eligibility to compete through the IAAF's Doping Review Board (DRB) as Authorized Neutral Athletes (ANA)," he continued.

"Based on the CAS ruling in CAS 2016/O/4684, if any Russian athletes are granted eligibility to compete in the CISM World Games, it will be for the CISM World Games organizers to decide the basis upon which they compete (i.e., whether in an individual or a representative capacity)," Nikolaou said.

"The IAAF would hope that they would follow the IAAF in allowing them to compete as authorized neutral athletes rather than as representatives of their country, but it is up to them," the IAAF communications manager added.

The IAAF suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue. The IAAF Taskforce Group, led by Norwegian expert Rune Andersen, was set up to oversee Russia’s implementation of requirements for RusAF’s membership reinstatement with the IAAF.

However, the IAAF permitted clean athletes from Russia to participate in the international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF was reinstated. The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating under the national flag.

The IAAF Doping Review Board approved on December 18, 2018 an updated version of the Guidance Note for Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) status applications and sent the document to the RusAF.

The RusAF started accepting neutral status applications from national track and field athletes on December 19, 2018. The world’s governing athletics body has already granted neutral-status participation permits to almost 120 Russian track and field athletes.

Russian track and field athletes are allowed to compete under a neutral flag at the tournaments held under the patronage of the IAAF (World Championships, European Championships, Diamond League and World Challenge tournaments).

However, at the tournaments organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the European Olympic Committees, and with a proper agreement with the IAAF, the Russian track and field athletes may compete under the national flag (the Olympics, the Youth Olumpics, the European Games, the European Youth Festivals).

The Russian track and field athletes did not compete in the 2019 Summer Universiade since there was no agreement between the IAAF and the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

The 7th CISM Military World Games will be held in China’s Wuhan between October 18 and 27. Two-time world champion in high jump Maria Lasitskene is among Russian track and field athletes planning to take part in the tournament next month.

The Military World Games is a multi-sport tournament for military sportsmen as organized by the International Military Sports Council every four years since 1995. The Russian team topped the medals standings of four out of previously held six editions (in 1995, 1999, 2007, 2015). China topped the medals standings in 2003 and Brazil in 2011.