U-18 World Championships: IAAF approves 9 neutral athletes

The Doping Review Board of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has approved the applications of nine Russian athletes to compete at the IAAF U18 World Championships as neutral athletes.

A statement on the association’s website on Thursday said the athletes cited Competition Rule 22.1A(b), saying the wanted to remain so while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended.

It however said their participation as neutral athletes at the championships in Nairobi was still subject to formalities for eligibility under IAAF Rules being completed and subject to acceptance of their entries.

The athletes are Aksana Gataullina (pole vault), Ekaterina Gorshenina (race walk), Salavat Ilkaev (race walk), Elvira Khasanova (race walk) and Sergey Kozhevnikov (race walk).

The rest are Polina Miller (sprints), Varvara Nasibulina (sprints), Danila Tundykov (middle distance) and Valentina Ulyanova (high jump).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Doping Review Board, composed of Robert Hersh (chair), Sylvia Barlag and Antti Pihlakoski.

According to the statement, 22 applications in total, this year, have been approved and 45 have been declined.

“I thank the members of the Doping Review Board for their continued dedication and diligence in this ongoing review process,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

“This process is about our desire to support the hopes and aspirations of all clean athletes –– including Russian athletes of all ages –— who have been failed by their national system.

“I am delighted these nine athletes will get a chance to compete as neutral athletes in these championships and we will ensure they have the support network they require to compete to the best of their ability.”

The statement added that since the publication of updated guidelines under Rule 22.1A(b) earlier this year, the IAAF has received more than 130 applications from Russian athletes.

This is more than 40 of which have been endorsed by their national federation RusAF.

A number of these applications remain under review by the Doping Review Board in accordance with the guidelines, while stored samples continue to be re-analysed.

The athletes were then referenced as the Independent Person’s report published last December continues to be assessed in consultation with experts.

The IAAF said being an ongoing process it would only make announcements as and when decisions are made by the Doping Review Board concerning successful applications and those athletes have been duly informed.

“It is also worthy of note that a total of 15 Russian athletes (13 in 2017 and two in 2016) have previously been declared eligible under Rule 22.1A to compete as neutral athletes.

“They remain eligible to compete in international competitions subject to acceptance by individual meeting organisers.’’



Aisha JM