Ten Russians to compete in Tokyo Olympic athletics under neutral flag

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Paris

A maximum of 10 Russian track and field athletes will be able to compete at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics as World Athletics restored its Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) scheme after a council meeting.

The council has decided to allow ANAs “to start competing again, subject to a cap of 10 for the Olympic Games”, said Rune Andersen, chair of the Russian Taskforce overseeing the country’s reinstatement efforts.

The ANA scheme allows Russian competitors who meet strict anti-doping criteria to participate in global track and field events, but under a neutral flag and in neutral clothing.

World Athletics temporarily suspended the ANA scheme in November 2019 as part of the suspension of the Russian athletics federation (RusAF) reinstatement process following charges by the track doping watchdog Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) that RusAF helped cover up missed tests by Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko.

That decision meant that there were no Russian athletes at this month’s European indoor championships in Torun, Poland.

There had been 29 Russians competing as ANAs at the Doha world champs in September/October 2019, winning two golds, three silvers and one bronze medal.—AP

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