Game Game

Three more Russians get IAAF green light to compete

Russia’s Vera Rebrik competes in the women’s javelin throw final at a track and field meet called “Stars of 2016” in Moscow on July 28, 2016 © AFP/File / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

PARIS, France, May 31 – Three female Russian athletes were given the green light Wednesday to compete internationally as neutrals, world athletics’ governing body announced.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said its doping review board had agreed that the applications of Kseniya Aksyonova (400m), Vera Rebrik (javelin) and Vera Rudakova (400m hurdles) met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended.

“Their participation as neutral athletes in international competition is still subject to formalities for eligibility under IAAF rules being completed and subject to acceptance of their entries by individual meeting organisers,” IAAF said in a statement.

Aksyonova, Universiade 400m champion in 2013, was part of the Russian 4x400m relay team that finished fourth at the 2015 Beijing world championships, while Rebrik finished 24th in the javelin in China and former world youth and junior gold medallist Rudakova made the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles.

The three successful applications were part of 58 cases reviewed by the doping review board, with 28 declined and a further 27 remaining under review. In total this year 13 applications have been approved and 45 have been declined.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe said the importance of the doping review board’s “huge task should not be underestimated”.

“There can be no time constraints or deadlines when the protection of clean athletes everywhere is at stake,” said Coe.

A total of 12 Russian athletes (10 in 2017 and two in 2016) have previously been declared eligible to compete as neutral athletes and they remain eligible to compete in international competition subject to acceptance by individual meeting organisers.