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Three More Russian Athletes Cleared To Compete As ‘Neutrals’

Russian runner and whistle-blower Yulia Stepanova previously was cleared to compete as a "neutral."

The world athletic governing board has approved three more Russian athletes to compete as neutrals ahead of next month’s European Indoor Track Championships.

The IAAF Doping Review Board on February 23 identified the three latest cleared athletes as defending women's pole-vault champion Anzhelika Sidorova, sprinter Kristina Sivkova, and hammer-thrower Aleksei Sokirskii.

The board said that the three had "met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete" in international events while the Russian national team remains suspended. Their participation must still be approved by individual event organizers, it said.

Russia's track-and-field team has been banned from international competition since allegations of widespread, state-sponsored doping first surfaced in 2015. Individual athletes can compete as neutrals only if approved by international sports authorities.

Dozens of Russian athletes have applied for neutral status. Darya Klishina and doping whistle-blower Yulia Stepanova were previously declared eligible to compete as neutrals.

The IAAF said six athletes' applications have been declined while others are still under review.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP