The International Association of Athletics Federations (World Athletics) has changed the process and criteria for applying for neutral status for Russian athletes, which is required to participate in international competitions in 2022. This was announced on December 22 by the press service of World Athletics on the official website.
Thus, applications for obtaining neutral status will be considered only with attached official letters from the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). They must contain complete information about the athlete applying. In particular, the athlete within the last 12 months must be included in the doping testing pool.
In addition, applications must be submitted a maximum of four weeks before the deadline for submission of applications for participation in international competitions. However, the applicant may be required to undergo additional testing before granting neutral status.
According to the resolution of the international association, next year Russian athletes will be able to take part in the summer world championship in the American Eugene (July), the winter world championship in Belgrade (March), the summer European championship in Munich (August), the world team race walking championship in Oman (March), the World Half Marathon Championships in China (November) and the European Cross Country Championships in Italy (December).
World Athletics also ruled that at any other international competitions in 2022 (including the World Championships for athletes under 20), Russian athletes with neutral status can compete without any quota. Athletes under 15 years old will have the right to compete at international starts in neutral status without prior submission of applications.
Earlier, on December 1, the World Athletics Council decided to allow no more than 20 Russian athletes with neutral status to participate in the 2022 World and European Championships.
In May, World Athletics approved 23 Russian applications to compete in neutral status at international competitions in 2021. It was noted that only they meet the selection criteria for participation in international competitions as neutral athletes.
ARAF’s membership in World Athletics was suspended in November 2015 following an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Commission, and ARAF’s suspension was extended several times. So, in September 2020, World Athletics extended the consideration of the ARAF recovery roadmap until March 1, 2021. In March, the organization’s council approved a plan to restore ARAF in international rights.
At the time of the suspension of the membership of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) in the International Federation, domestic athletes can perform at foreign competitions only in the status of neutral athletes.