05:52 GMT23 February 2020
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    The IAAF Doping Review Board agreed the applications of 16 Russian athletes for participation in international competitions under the neutral flag, according to press service.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) approved applications of 16 Russian athletes for participation in international competitions under the neutral flag, the press service of the organization said on Sunday.

    "The IAAF Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of 16 Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes under competition Rule 22.1A(b) while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended," the statement said.

    Among the approved athletes are Viktor Butenko (discus), Timofey Chalyy (400m hurdles), Danil Danilov (hammer), Alexey Fedorov (triple jump) and other sportsmen taking part in such disciplines as sprints, high jump, race walks, decathlon and shot put.

    The IAAF imposed a blanket ban on the Russian athletics team in the run up to the 2016 Rio Olympics when the Russian doping scandal escalated, inflamed by the release of the first part of a report by a WADA independent commission headed by Richard McLaren, which accused Russia of running a state-wide doping program. Russian sports officials rejected accusations but promised to look further into doping abuse in national sports.

    A total of 25 Russian athletes had been approved earlier for competing under the neutral banner in the international competitions with the latest order being issued for Klavdiia Afanaseva (race walk) on July 3, according to the IAAF.

    Related:

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    IAAF Publishes Guidelines for Russian Athletes to Compete as Neutrals
    Russian Athletes Not Required to Undergo Doping Tests Abroad – IAAF
    IAAF Took Bribes to Conceal Positive Doping Tests of Six Russian Athletes
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    Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Russia
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