IAAF Says Klishina Can Compete As Neutral Athlete

IAAF Says Klishina Can Compete As Neutral Athlete

Individuals seeking to compete as a "neutral athlete" have to get their evidence to the IAAF two weeks before the qualification deadline of the competition they want to enter - for Rio 2016, that is July 18.

The IAAF has rejected all applications from Russian track and field athletes to compete in this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Russian Olympic Committee has said, with the exception of long jumper Darya Klishina.

Two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva and Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko urged to dissolve the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which on Sunday refused to admit Russian track-and-field athletes to the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF has already approved an application from Russian athlete and doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, who competed at last week's European championships.

It said its doping review board "unanimously accepted the application of Daria Klishina who, subject to completing the formalities, is now eligible to compete in worldwide competitions as an independent neutral athlete". One of the most significant criteria for IAAF was that the athlete was staying for a "sufficiently long period" outside Russian Federation and "could provide a substantial assurance of integrity" under control of a foreign anti - doping system. Sixty-eight Russian track and field stars, including Isinbayeva and Shubenkov, still hoping to go to Rio now hope that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will overturn the blanket ban as a last resort.

While the International Olympic Committee has said it supports the decision, IOC President Thomas Bach said any athletes given such eligibility would compete under the Russian flag. CAS is due to rule on the case by July 21.

This decision has been taken by the IAAF Doping Review Board based on criteria elaborated by the IAAF Taskforce and approved by the IAAF Council on the 17th of June, 2016 in Vienna.

"Russian athletes are continuing to prepare for the most important event in four years, and together with the Russian Sports Ministry and the Russian Olympic Committee we will take all the necessary technical and organisational steps in order to prepare the Russian track and field team for the Olympic Games". Stepanova competed in the 800 meters at the European Championships on Wednesday but was injured in the race.

Twice a world championship finalist, Klishina said in a post on her official Facebook page she was "really happy" with the IAAF's decision.

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