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Further to the World Athletics Council decision on 1 December 2021 to approve amendments to the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) programme for 2022 on the recommendation of the Russian Taskforce, the Doping Review Board has reviewed and revised the process and the criteria for ANA applications. These have today been sent to the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and posted on the World Athletics website.
Athletes will need to follow the procedures set out in the guidance documents and all applications must be forwarded to World Athletics through RusAF.
Applications must be submitted no later than four weeks before the entry deadline for the international competition for which eligibility is sought and the Doping Review Board may require an applicant to undergo additional testing prior to granting him or her ANA status.
The Russian Federation (RusAF) may choose which 20 athletes (in total, not per competition) will be granted eligibility to compete (as ANAs) in the following international competitions:
(a) the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championship to be held in Muscat, OMA, in March 2022;
(b) the World Athletics Indoor Championships to be held in Belgrade, SRB, in March 2022;
(c) the World Athletics Championships to be held in Oregon, USA, in July 2022;
(d) the European Championships to be held in Munich, GER, in August 2022;
(e) the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships to be held in Yanghzou, CHN, in November 2022;
(f) the European Cross Country Championships to be held in Turin, ITA, in December 2022.
The 20 selected ANAs must be chosen from athletes in the International Registered Testing Pool in priority to any other athletes. No changes may be made to the 20 designated ANAs, for any reason, once they have been nominated by RusAF.
In addition, the ANA quota of 20 will be automatically reduced by 25% for each separate failure to comply with the ANA requirements (whether of additional testing or otherwise).
There is no cap on the number of Russian athletes who may compete (if invited, and if they have been granted ANA status) in international competitions that are not listed above. And no cap applies to the World Athletics U20 Championships to be held in Cali, COL, in August 2022.
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.
For applicants seeking to compete in any other event, the Doping Review Board shall consider whether the applicant has, in the 12 months prior to the competition, undergone at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests, all such tests to be conducted no less than three weeks apart. As regards applicants competing in U18 or U20 competitions, the Doping Review Board expects a minimum of two no-notice out-of-competition tests to have been conducted on applicants, all such tests to be conducted no less than three weeks apart.
Similar to the ANA process in 2021, the guidance documents require each application to be accompanied by an official letter from RUSADA.
The guidance note sets out minimum testing requirements for athletes competing in any over 15 age group competition, including RusAF confirming to World Athletics any additional testing requirements have been complied with prior to the granting of ANA status.
In order that all stakeholders are informed of which Russian athletes are ineligible as a result of RusAF's suspension (unless they are granted ANA status), RusAF will need to provide an updated list of Russian athletes that are affiliated to the Russian Athletics Federation for publication on the World Athletics website every three months.
World Athletics also acknowledged in its letter to RusAF that as the impact of Covid-19 continues, it may influence the 2022 athletics season.
A total of 151 Russian athletes were declared eligible to compete as authorised neutral athletes in 2021. Six applications were denied and no athletes had their ANA status revoked. A number of further applications were withdrawn or were submitted out of time.