News : Olympia: Up to ten Russian athletes allowed in Tokyo
Russian athletes can now apply for neutral athlete status again in order to take part in international competitions under certain conditions. As Rune Andersen, head of the Russia task force in the World Athletics (WA), announced after a council meeting, up to ten Russians may start under neutral status at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and other meetings.
This possibility was suspended last year after the Russian association Rusaf, which had been suspended since 2015 due to doping scandals, failed to meet its reintegration obligations and new misconduct became known. The task force was recently able to observe that the Rusaf was following the multi-stage plan for reintegration, it said.
“The fact that this plan was launched can only have been the first step,” said Andersen: “We have international experts on site who monitor the process and, if necessary, report immediately.” WA President Sebastian Coe said, “We are convinced that the recovery plan has substance and will lead to success.”
The new Rusaf leadership elected at the end of November had submitted a plan for reintegration by the deadline on March 1st. This was the prerequisite for giving Russian top athletes such as high jump world champion Marija Lassizkene, hurdler Sergej Schubenkow or pole vault world champion Anselika Sidorova the perspective to start as neutral athletes again.
When Russia will again be allowed to compete internationally under its own flag is still open.