Athletics: World Athletics approves 23 Russians to compete as neutral athletes

Reuters , Saturday 22 May 2021

Anzhelika Sidorova
Anzhelika Sidorova has been cleared to compete as a neutral athlete

World Athletics' doping review board on Saturday approved 23 Russians to compete at international competitions as neutral athletes, taking the total count to 27 this year.

Russia's 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 track and field athletes.

World Athletics in March reinstated the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) scheme for clean Russian athletes after the approval of RusAF's reinstatement plan.

Among the 27 neutral athletes are Mikhail Akimenko (men's high jump) and Anzhelika Sidorova (women's pole vault), who won silver and gold at the 2019 World Championships, along with women's high jump world number one Mariya Lasitskene.

World Athletics has said there is no limit on the number of Russians who may compete as authorised neutral athletes in international competitions this year, apart from the Olympic Games and other championships.

Up to 10 Russians will be allowed to compete as neutral athletes at the July 23-Aug. 8 Tokyo Olympics if they meet certain criteria.

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