Up to 10 Russians can compete in track and field events as neutrals

Up to 10 Russian track and field athletes will be able to compete as neutrals at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, World Athletics has confirmed.

Athletics’ world governing body has reinstated a scheme allowing Russian athletes who meet anti-doping criteria to compete under a neutral flag.

The Authorised Neutral Athlete scheme was announced in March 2020, but was then suspended over further violations.

Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015.

In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) banned the nation from all major sporting events for four years but that sanction was reduced to two years in December 2020.

Earlier this month, World Athletics approved Russia’s 31-page plan for reform.

The Authorised Neutral Athlete scheme, which covers further international athletics events as well as the Olympics, depends on Russia meeting deadlines and targets set out in the plan.

Twenty-nine Authorised Neutral Athletes from Russia competed at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. They won two gold medals, three silvers and one bronze medal. — BBC Sport

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