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Russia names athletes seeking IAAF approval

Russia’s Ivan Ukhov competes in the men’s high jump final at a track and field meet called “Stars of 2016” in Moscow on July 28, 2016 © AFP/File / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

MOSCOW, Russian Federation, Feb 1The Russian athletics federation (RusAF) revealed the names of 31 of its athletes who have applied to compete internationally as neutrals and thereby escape the ban from world athletics’ chiefs the IAAF.

The Russian track and field team has been banned from all IAAF competitions since 2015 over state-sponsored doping, but it has ruled that individual athletes may apply to take part in the international events as neutrals – if they are deemed drug-free.

The 2012 Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov, the 2015 world 110m hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov and the 2014 world indoor triple jump champion Lukman Adams were all named by RusAF on the list along with the 2015 world high jump champion Maria Kuchina.

Yekaterina Koneva, the 2014 world indoor triple jump champion, London Olympics bronze medalist Svetlana Shkolina and the 2014 European high jump champion Anzhelika Sidorova are also awaiting approval from the IAAF.

The IAAF ban led to Russian athletes missing the Olympics in Rio and the world athletics governing body ruled to extend the punishment in December.

The next review is scheduled for February but the bulk of Russian athletes are now likely to miss the March 3-5 European Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

In his latest report released in December, Canadian doping investigator Richard McLaren said that 1,000 Russians were involved in a doping system organised by the Russian sports ministry over several years.

The Russian government however has repeatedly denied any involvement in doping.

Last month RusAF said it fully approved and supported the IAAF decision to give athletes a chance to compete as neutrals.

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