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April 13, 2021

Authorised Neutral Athlete programme to be reinstated

2 min read

The World Athletics Council has approved the reinstatement of the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) programme for clean athletes from Russia, which will commence in time for the 2021 outdoor competition season.

The Russian Taskforce Report, with two amendments confirmed that
for the remainder of 2021, no more than 10 Russian athletes will be granted eligibility to compete as ANA athletes at any championship competition, including the Tokyo Olympic Games, World Athletics Series events and the 2021 European U23 Championships.

The Russian Federation (RusAF) may choose which 10 athletes are able to compete from those who have been granted ANA status, but it must prioritise the selection of athletes who are in the International Registered Testing Pool.

There is no cap on the number of Russian athletes who may compete at other international competitions, provided they have ANA status.

Russian athletes in the under 15 age group may continue to compete in under 15 international competitions as neutral athletes without applying to the Doping Review Board.

However, these provisions may be revoked at any time if World Athletics’ Russia Taskforce advises that satisfactory progress is not being made against the milestones and Key Performance Indicators set out in the Reinstatement Plan.

The World Athletics Council will review the ANA programme at its final meeting in 2021 to determine if it should be renewed or revised for international competition in 2022.

The RusAF Reinstatement Plan was approved by the Council on 1 March and Taskforce Chair Rune Andersen said in his report to the Council that “strong pressure needs to be maintained to ensure that RusAF’s stakeholders remain incentivised to back RusAF management in their implementation of the plan”.

He added that “the Taskforce strongly sympathises with clean Russian athletes who continue to miss out on participation in international competitions while the work towards reinstatement of RusAF continues”.

The Council also agreed that the decision made in July 2020 to propose that Congress expels RusAF from memberships of World Athletics, will be reactivated if RusAF does not continue to pay the full costs of the reinstatement process and/or does not make satisfactory progress against the Reinstatement Plan.

Andersen said the Taskforce would continue to monitor RusAF’s progress carefully.

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