MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has met the request of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) to review requirements on neutral status permissions for Russian athletes, who were removed from the IAAF’s doping testing pool last year, a spokesperson for the ARAF told TASS on Wednesday.
Due to the ARAF’s currently suspended membership in the global athletics body, the IAAF made a decision in late 2016 to allow Russian athletes, who meet IAAF’s required criteria, to compete in international sports events under the neutral status. Almost all permissions for the neutral status participation, subsequently issued by the IAAF to Russian athletes, expired on December 31, 2017.
Early last month, the IAAF announced a new list of criteria for issuing neutral status permissions for the 2018 season and one the requirements stipulated an obligation for an athlete to be on the IAAF’s Registered Testing Pool (RTP) for the period of 12 months. However, in October 2017 the IAAF decided to exclude a number of Russian track and field athletes from the RTP.
"We have received an answer to our letter from the IAAF," ARAF’s spokeswoman Natalia Yukhareva said in an interview with TASS. "The international federation has agreed with ARAF’s arguments regarding the excluded from the pool track and field athletes."
"The IAAF will be now studying applications from these athletes instead of instantly dismissing them," she said. "It concerns the athletes, who had been removed from the IAAF pool, but continued providing their data in the ADAMS monitoring system."
In 2015, the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian sports ministry.
The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.
Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement to restore its membership in the global federation.