Russians May Be Allowed To Compete In Track And Field Again Soon

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The Russian track and field federation believes they may soon be reinstated and their athletes allowed to compete in national uniform, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The federation was suspended from international competition in the fall of 2015 by the IAAF due to allegations of widespread, state-sponsored doping amongst track and field athletes. Russia has thus so far missed the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, though select Russian-born athletes are allowed to competed as "authorized neutral athletes."

At worlds this summer, Maria Lasitskene won high jump gold while sporting a blue Nike kit free of national emblem or logo. When she took the top spot on the podium, the IAAF anthem played in place of the Russian national anthem. Russians Darya Klishina and Sergey Shubenkov earned silver medals in the women's long jump and men's 110m hurdles, respectively, while wearing similar uniforms.


But at the 2019 IAAF World Championships, or even the 2018 IAAF World Indoors, Lasitskene, Klishina, and Shubenkov could be wearing the red Russian kits once more.

Federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin said in a statement that he and his staff "understand each step's significance, we're working, doing everything possible. And when the collective works at maximum effort, I am sure that victory is not far off." He will meet next week with the IAAF task force on Russian reform.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is scheduled to discuss reinstating Russia's drug-testing agency next month.

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