MOSCOW, Russia, July 5 – Russia’s athletics federation on Tuesday published a list of the 68 athletes who have formally requested to be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics following a decision to suspend the track and field team.
The athletes have “met the criteria” to participate and were approved by Russian coaches, said the federation (ARAF), which last month had its suspension over allegations of institutionalised and pervasive doping upheld by athletics’ ruling body the IAAF.
“Every athlete has sent in an individual request to participate in the Olympic Games, for confirmation by the IAAF,” ARAF said.
The list includes track and field stars like world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, long-jumper Darya Klishina, and pole vault tsarina Yelena Isinbayeva.
The IAAF’s ruling on June 17 said that Russia’s athletics federation was up to two years away from returning to operational compliance with anti-doping requirements.
But it left the door ajar to some competitors not tainted by doping to compete as neutrals in Rio.
The International Olympic Committee went a step further and said athletes who pass an individual test by the IAAF can compete under their nation’s flag.
The process through which athletes can “clearly and convincingly show that they are not tainted by the Russian system” as the IAAF demands before the Games begin is not entirely clear.
The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) argues that tough measures are key to send a message that doping is unacceptable, while another investigation of Russian doping is still ongoing, with a report to be published next week.
The WADA investigations were launched following allegations revealed by whistleblowing athlete Yuliya Stepanova last year, who said athletics officials supply banned substances to competitors in exchange for a share of athletes’ fees.
Stepanova last Friday was declared eligible to compete under a neutral flag.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Monday it will decide whether to overturn the ban against Russia’s athletics programme by July 21, two weeks before the start of the Rio Games.