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IAAF rejects five neutral status applications from Russian race walkers

IAAF’s previously issued neutral-status permissions for Russian athletes expired on December 31, 2018

MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has turned down applications for a neutral-status participation in international tournaments from five Russian track and field athletes, the press service of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) announced on Monday.

The world’s governing body of track and field athletics rejected neutral-status applications filed by race walkers Klavdia Afanasyeva, Margarita Nikiforova, Vitaly Anchin, Alexander Garin and Alexei Kudashkin.

Only three Russian race walkers have been cleared for international tournaments this year in the neutral status and they are Vasiliy Mizinov (the bronze medalist of the 2018 European Championship), Yana Smerdova and Alexei Shevchuk. The trio will participate in the 2019 European Race Walking Cup in Alytus, Lithuania on 19 May.

As of May 13, the IAAF turned down 20 neutral status applications from Russian track and field athletes. The RusAF has already received 286 applications from national athletes requesting to grant them a neutral status, of which 277 have been sent to the IAAF.

The IAAF Doping Review Board approved on December 18, 2018 an updated version of the Guidance Note for Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) status applications and sent the document to the RusAF.

The RusAF started accepting neutral status applications from national track and field athletes on December 19. The world’s governing athletics body has already granted neutral-status participation permits to 67 Russian track and field athletes.

According to the IAAF regulations, the global athletics body has the right to disregard individual applications unaccompanied by an official document from the RusAF with all the necessary information, which the federation has in regard to a particular applicant. The document must also state whether the RusAF confirms that an applicant is in compliance with all requirements and whether it grants its own approval.

The IAAF suspended RusAF’s membership in late 2015 following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement in order to restore its membership in the global federation.

The IAAF, however, permitted clean athletes from Russia to participate in the international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF was reinstated. IAAF’s previously issued neutral-status permissions for Russian athletes expired on December 31, 2018.