The Russian athletics federation (RusAF) remains suspended as an IAAF Member, with athletes still unable to represent Russia in international competition

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has submitted updated guidelines to the Russian athletics federation (RUSaF) for athletes wishing to apply to compete internationally in 2017, the global governing body has announced.

RusAF remains suspended as an IAAF Member, meaning the country’s athletes are still banned from competing for Russia in international competitions.

The suspension of RusAF as an IAAF Member has been in place since November 2015 and it came after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report detailed findings including a “deeply rooted culture of cheating” in Russian athletics. Speaking at a press conference on December 1 last year, which followed the 207th IAAF Council meeting in Monaco, IAAF Taskforce independent chairperson Rune Andersen said that while RusAF had made some progress towards satisfying the reinstatement conditions since June, some key issues remained.

The Taskforce will next report on RusAF progress in February 2017. In the meantime, the IAAF has updated its guidelines which give Russian athletes the opportunity to apply for permission to compete in international competitions as a neutral athlete.

A rule allowing Russian athletes to apply to compete internationally was first announced by the IAAF in June, with long jumper Darya Klishina later cleared to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Part of the criteria requires athletes to show that they are not directly implicated in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, “by their national federation’s failure to put in place adequate systems to protect and promote clean athletes”.

Further details on the extent of Russian doping cover-ups at events including the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow and the London 2012 Olympic Games were revealed in the second part of a WADA-commissioned report by Richard McLaren released on December 9.

“The IAAF has been forwarded around 200 names of Russian athletes by the McLaren investigation team and it will assess the evidence and intelligence from the McLaren report and elsewhere in respect of any athlete who applies for neutral athlete status under the guidelines,” a press release published by the IAAF on Tuesday read in part.

Other criteria highlighted in the guidelines includes whether any coach, doctor or other support person with whom the applicant has worked has ever been implicated in the commission of any anti-doping rule violation(s), plus consideration of how many samples have been collected from the applicant during each relevant period.

The press release continued to state in part: “So far as the testing requirements are concerned, the guidelines clarify that athletes do not necessarily need to have been tested outside of Russia but do stipulate that they must have been part of a recognised, independent and fully WADA Code-compliant drug-testing programme for a sufficiently long period to provide substantial objective assurance of integrity. This could include athletes in the IAAF International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) who have been tested by the IAAF and/or by other independent testing agencies under satisfactory conditions for an acceptable period.”

Applications will be reviewed by the IAAF’s Doping Review Board.

The IAAF confirmed that invitations to eligible athletes to compete in one-day meetings remain at the discretion of individual meeting organisers.

IAAF president Seb Coe commented: “Russian athletes have been let down by a system that should have protected them and celebrated achievements not one that created doubt and expulsion from competition.

“We continue to find ways to create parallel and credible systems of independent testing of Russian athletes so they have alternative avenues to get back in to competition whilst we continue to work with RusAF on reinstatement.”

The IAAF guidelines can be found in English here.