Moscow: Two Russian athletes – 1,500m runner Yegor Nikolayev and 400m runner Alexander Skorobogatko – have been allowed to compete internationally as neutrals, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement.
“The IAAF Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of two Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes in 2018… while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended,” the statement read, reports TASS news agency.
However, a thing to note is that neither Nikolayev nor Skorobogatko have yet qualified for the European Athletics Championships scheduled to be held in Berlin on August 6-12.
“A total of 74 Russian athletes have so far been declared eligible to compete as Authorized Neutral Athletes in 2018,” the IAAF said, adding that “68 applications have been denied and five athletes have had their ANA status revoked.”
In December 2016, the IAAF decided that until the membership of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) was restored, Russian athletes who met all the anti-doping criteria could participate in international tournaments as neutrals. Those willing to become neutrals are to file individual applications that must be approved by IAAF officials.
On Friday, the IAAF Council refused to reinstate the ARAF at its meeting in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires.
“The Council noted significant progress by the Russian Federation in meeting the outstanding requirements, and in some cases going above and beyond what was required, but has decided that the Russian federation’s suspension will remain in force until its next meeting in December,” the IAAF said.