/Athletics: IAAF clears 42 Russians to compete as neutrals in 2019

Athletics: IAAF clears 42 Russians to compete as neutrals in 2019

Athletics – Diamond League – Monaco – Stade Louis II, Monaco – July 20, 2018 Neutral Athlete Sergey Shubenkov celebrates winning the Men’s 110m Hurdles REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Files

(Reuters) – Former world champions Sergey Shubenkov and Maria Lasitskene were among 42 Russian athletes cleared to compete as neutrals in international competition this year, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Monday.

The governing body said the athletes, who were also afforded neutral status last year, had met their doping review board’s “exceptional eligibility criteria” of training in an environment that passed the necessary anti-doping requirements.

Russia’s athletics federation (RUSAF) has been suspended since 2015 over a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that found evidence of widespread, state-sponsored doping in the sport.

“The Doping Review Board is prioritising, wherever possible, applications from athletes wishing to compete in the current indoor season,” the IAAF added in a statement.

“The participation of all these athletes 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.”

Lasitskene has won the women’s high jump at the last two world championships, while Shubenkov won the men’s 110 metres hurdles at the 2015 event in Beijing. This year’s world championships take place in Doha, Qatar from Sept. 27-Oct. 6.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien

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