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Fri, March 13, 2020

Maximum of ten Russian athletes to compete as neutrals in athletics at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Maximum of ten Russian athletes to compete as neutrals in athletics at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

World Athletics has announced that a maximum of 10 Russian track and field athletes will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has also been fined $10million for breaching anti-doping rules and if half of this fine is not paid by 1st July 2020 then all athletes will be banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Last year Russia was banned from all major sporting events for a period of four years after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was deemed to be non-compliant with the anti-doping rules after laboratory data was manipulated and fabricated. The data was handed to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as part of a reinstatement in 2018 following a three-year ban which came as a consequence of the state sponsored doping scandal.

World Athletics president Seb Coe said in a statement that “the package of sanctions approved by the council reflects the seriousness of RusAF's wrongdoing and sends a clear message that we take these types of offences by our member federations extremely seriously” and added that “previous measures were not enough to change the culture in Russian athletics” and that World Athletics "feels severely let down by the previous RusAF administration. We have consistently tried to separate the clean athletes from a tainted system, which is why we have reinstated the ANA process for athletes from Russia,"

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is still scheduled to go ahead in July and August in spite of the escalating coronavirus situation, but this may change as the situation develops.

You can read the full World Athletics statement here.

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