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Russia’s Athletic Federation asks IAAF to expedite verdict on neutral status requests

Due to the ARAF’s currently suspended membership, the IAAF made a decision to allow Russian athletes, who meet IAAF’s required criteria, to compete in international events under the neutral status

MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) sent a letter to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) on Monday requesting it to accelerate its review of individual requests from Russian athletes to compete in international sports events under the neutral status, ARAF press officer Natalya Yukhareva told TASS.

The application procedure was launched on December 15, 2017 right after the new criteria for issuing neutral status authorizations had been approved. At the moment, 40 streamlined and 48 standard requests have been submitted. Two-time world champion high jumper Maria Lasitskene, as well as silver medalists at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Sergey Shubenkov (men’s 110 meters hurdles) and Danil Lysenko (men’s high jump) have filed their documents among the others.

"The All-Russia Athletics Federation shares the concerns of its athletes who have not yet received an IAAR reply to their requests," Yukhareva said. "Many of them sent their documents back at the end of last year. We ask the international federation to make the decisions as soon as possible at least on the first applications. It is also important for us to understand the time frame that all applications will be considered in," she added.

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 approvals for the neutral status participation, subsequently issued by the IAAF to Russian athletes, expired on December 31, 2017.

In late November, the IAAF allowed the athletes already granted permission to extend it in a simplified manner without losing much time on filling out regular forms.

In 2015, the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission carried out an investigation about 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 the ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a string of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement to restore its membership in the global federation.