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World Athletics Approves 23 Russians To Compete In International Competitions

Russian high jumper Mariya Lasitskene (file photo)
Russian high jumper Mariya Lasitskene (file photo)

World Athletics, the global track-and-field athletics governing body, has approved 23 Russians to compete in international competitions as neutral athletes, taking the total to 27 this year.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been suspended since 2015 after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping among Russian track-and-field athletes.

The doping scandal resulted in Team Russia's ban from international competition, including the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2018 Winter Olympics.

Since RusAF’s suspension, clean Russian athletes have been competing as authorized neutral athletes under the nondescript logo AOR, or Athlete Of Russia.

Among the 27 neutral athletes approved by World Athletics on May 22 were women's high jump world No. 1 Mariya Lasitskene and Anzhelika Sidorova, who won silver and gold in women's pole vault at the 2019 World Championships.

No more than 10 Russian athletes will be granted eligibility to compete at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, under rules approved by the World Athletics.

Two applications for authorized neutral athlete status have so far been rejected by the World Athletics doping review board. The individuals have not been named.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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