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World Athletics Body Clears 16 More Russians To Compete As Neutral Athletes 

  • RFE/RL

Former world long-jump champion Aleksandr Menkov is one of the Russian athletes who has been cleared to compete. (file photo)

A review board for the governing body of athletics says it has cleared 16 more Russians to compete as neutral athletes in international competition.

While Russia remains suspended from the sport, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) said on July 9 that its Doping Review Board accepted applications from the athletes, bringing the total number of Russians approved this year to compete to 39. Two other athletes were declared eligible last year.

"It is important to reiterate that this review process is about ensuring there is a level playing field in which the world's clean athletes have confidence," IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

Among the 16 newly reinstated athletes is Aleksandr Menkov, who won gold in the long jump at the 2013 world championships in Moscow.

The other male athletes cleared were discus thrower Viktor Butenko, hammer thrower Danil Danilov, triple jumper Aleksey Fyodorov, shot putters Aleksandr Lesnoy and Konstantin Lyadusov, decathlete Ilya Shkurenev, middle distance runner Valentin Smirnov and sprinters Timofey Chalyy and Vyacheslav Kolesnichenko.

The female athletes cleared were Yuliya Maltseva (discus), triple jumpers Viktoria Prokopenko and Irina Gemeniuk, high jumper Irina Gordeeva and sprinter Alyona Mamina.

The announcement comes just weeks before the world championships are scheduled to take place in London from August 4 August 13.

Walker Olga Eliseeva was cleared to take part at the European Under-20 championships only.

The Russian national athletics federation (RUSAF) was suspended as a result of widespread and systematic doping, meaning the majority of Russian athletes will miss the world championships.

The IAAF said it had received more than 150 applications from Russian athletes to compete as neutrals this year, with a number of applications still under review.

"It's a huge task and one which cannot be rushed if we are to ensure the rights and aspirations of clean athletes are protected," Coe added.

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