21 Jul 2017

Eight Russian athletes cleared as neutrals

7:29 am on 21 July 2017

The world athletics body the IAAF has approved eight Russians to compete as neutrals but has declined a further 53 competitors hoping to be awarded a similar status.

The IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe.

The IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Russia's national athletics federation (RUSAF) remains suspended as a result of widespread and systematic doping, meaning most of the country's athletes will miss next month's world championships in London.

Russian athletes can, however, apply to compete as neutrals provided they meet stringent criteria.

IAAF guidelines say this includes showing they are not directly implicated "in any way by their national federation's failure to put in place adequate systems to protect and promote clean athletes".

The IAAF today confirmed that it had approved 47 applications this year and rejected 109, it did not name the athletes whose applications were declined.

"From the beginning, we have declared this process was about supporting the hopes and aspirations of all clean athletes, including Russian athletes who have been failed by their national system," IAAF president Sebastian Coe said.

The eight athletes accepted included 31-year-old hammer thrower Sergei Litvinov, a bronze medallist at the 2014 European championships. He had previously competed for Belarus and Germany.

Other successful applicants were men's 2013 European under-23 high jump champion Ilya Ivaniuk and Alayna Lutkovskaya, the 2014 junior women's pole vault world champion.

The participation of all athletes was still subject to formalities and acceptance by individual meeting organisers, the IAAF said.