July 9, 2017 / 5:17 PM / 2 years ago

Doping: Sixteen Russian athletes cleared to compete as neutrals

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Former long jump world champion Aleksandr Menkov is among 16 more Russian athletes who have been cleared to compete as neutrals, the governing body for athletics (IAAF) said on Sunday.

Athletics - Russian Olympians Cup - Men's long jump - Brothers Znamensky Olympic Centre, Moscow, Russia, 28/7/16. Aleksandr Menkov of Russia competes. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov Picture Supplied by Action Images

The IAAF said the 16 had met the “exceptional eligibility criteria” required to compete while Russia remains suspended from the sport.

Menkov won gold at the world championships in 2013 in Moscow.

The other male athletes cleared were discus thrower Viktor Butenko, hammer thrower Danil Danilov, triple jumper Alexey Fedorov, shot putters Aleksandr Lesnoy and Konstantin Lyadusov, decathlete Ilya Shkurenev, middle distance runner Valentin Smirnov and sprinters Timofey Chalyy and Vyacheslav Kolesnichenko.

The female athletes cleared were Iuliia Maltseva (discus), triple jumpers Viktoria Prokopenko and Irina Gemeniuk, high jumper Irina Gordeeva and sprinter Alena Mamina.

Walker Olga Eliseeva was cleared to take part at the European Under-20 championships only.

The Russian national athletics federation (RUSAF) is suspended as a result of widespread and systematic doping, meaning the majority of Russian athletes will miss next month’s world championships in London.

“It is important to reiterate that this review process is about ensuring there is a level playing field in which the world’s clean athletes have confidence,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said.

“It’s a huge task and one which cannot be rushed if we are to ensure the rights and aspirations of clean athletes are protected.”

The IAAF said the participation of all athletes was still subject to formalities and acceptance by individual meeting organizers.

The IAAF said it had received more than 150 applications from Russian athletes to compete as neutrals this year and 39 had been approved. It said a number of applications were still under review.

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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