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World Athletics grants neutral-status permits for three Russian track and field athletes

Three Russian athletes at the issue are Stepan Kiselyov, Anna Minulina and Vladislav Podzvezdov

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The world’s governing body of track and field athletics, World Athletics, announced a decision on Wednesday to grant three more permits to Russian athletes, allowing them to perform at international competitions this year.

Three Russian athletes at the issue are Stepan Kiselyov (long-distance running), Anna Minulina (3,000-meter running) and Vladislav Podzvezdov (800m-1,500m running).

"The World Athletics Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of three Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes in 2021 under Eligibility Rule 3.2 while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended," according to a statement from World Athletics.

World Athletics announced in March 2021 its decision to grant neutral-status permissions for clean Russian athletes.

The global athletics body also said in its statement on Wednesday that applications for the neutral status of five Russian track and field athletes were turned down.

"A total of 150 Russian athletes have so far been declared eligible to compete as authorised neutral athletes in 2021. Five applications have been rejected," the statement from World Athletics reads.

"The World Athletics Council approved the reinstatement of the authorized neutral athlete (ANA) program for clean athletes from Russia in March 2021, following the approval of the RusAF Reinstatement Plan."

"There is no cap on the number of Russian athletes who may compete at international competitions in 2021 (outside of the Olympic Games and other championships), provided they have ANA status," the statement continued.

"However, the Council agreed that for the remainder of 2021, no more than 10 Russian athletes will be granted eligibility to compete as authorized neutral athletes at any championship competition," according to World Athletics.

"RusAF may choose which 10 athletes are able to compete from those who have been granted ANA status, but it must prioritize the selection of athletes who are in the International Registered Testing Pool," the statement added.

World Athletics and RusAF

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. World Athletics, 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 prohibited 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 extend the suspension of 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."

The provisionally suspended senior officials at that time were then-President of RusAF Dmitry Shlyakhtin and several more high-ranking people from the federation for helping to falsify documents, which Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko presented as his excuse for skipping doping tests.

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