MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) declined to approve applications from 18 Russian track and field athletes for permission to participate in international tournaments this year under a neutral flag, the press service of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) announced to TASS on Thursday.
The IAAF explained in its letter to the ARAF that it declined to approve applications because the athletes at the issue were not long enough in the testing pool.
The IAAF announced in early December 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.
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 prohibited 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.