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Three Russian track and field athletes apply for ANA status with World Athletics

On March 18, a decision to reinstate the Authorized Neutral Athlete program "for clean athletes from Russia" was announced
Yekaterina Koneva Yegor Aleyev/TASS
Yekaterina Koneva
© Yegor Aleyev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Russia’s three leading track and field athletes have submitted applications with World Athletics for obtaining neutral status permissions in order to take part in international tournaments this year, including the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, athletes’ manager Pavel Voronkov told TASS on Monday.

Among the trio of track and fielders at the issue are Yekaterina Koneva (competing in women’s triple jump), Alexander Menkov (men’s long jump) and Valery Pronkin (men’s hammer throw).

"Yekaterina Koneva, Alexander Menkov and Valery Pronkin have submitted their applications for the neutral status participation," Voronkov said.

On March 18, the World Athletics Council announced a decision to reinstate "the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) program for clean athletes from Russia." On March 31, the World Athletics Council published a list of guidelines on granting the ANA status to Russian track and field athletes this year.

The list of guidelines for Russian athletes’ ANA program included 12 provisions. According to one of the published provisions, the issuance of the ANA status for athletes over the age of 20 years requires a fee of $250, while athletes under the age of 20 must pay a fee of $100. The same amount was required for Russian track and field athletes last year, however, none of them was granted the neutral status in 2020.

Early this month, the world’s governing body of track and field athletics announced a decision to return to Russian athletes all fees they paid as part of their neutral-status applications in 2020.

In 2021, no more than ten athletes will be able to get the ANA status to compete in major sporting events (Olympics, world championships and European U23 championships), according to a previous decision of World Athletics.

World Athletics suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue. The governing athletics body, however, allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF is reinstated. The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag.

The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to suspend RusAF’s reinstatement process based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). According to World Athletics, the AIU charged RusAF on November 21, 2019 "with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity."

In March 2020, the World Athletics Council ruled to fine RusAF $5 million for an alleged involvement of the previous executive administration in an attempt to forge official documents of high jumper Danil Lysenko. RusAF paid the fine on August 12, 2020.