Russian athletes told to prove they are clean

Updated: 

Russian athletes have been told to prove they are clean if they want to return to international competition.

The warning comes as part of new guidelines issued by the IAAF, which has set out the criteria athletes must meet in order to compete as neutrals. 

Russia has been banned from IAAF competition since 2015 following allegations of state-sponsored doping.

The recent McLaren report claimed more than 1,000 Russians benefited from a doping programme in the country between 2011 and 2015.

Russian athletes were absent from athletics events at Rio 2016 as a result of the ban and one of the new criteria requires athletes to show 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".

Other criteria include:

- 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);

- During the relevant period, how many samples (urine, blood and/or Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) samples) have been collected from the applicant?;

- Were there any times during the relevant period when the applicant was not subject to testing by the IAAF or any other national or international WADA-recognised testing authority?;

- Where the applicant has provided samples for the purposes of drug-testing during the relevant period, have there been any atypical findings or concerns about the applicant's ABP profile, requiring further investigation?;

- Whether any samples previously provided by the applicant are currently in storage and/or subject to re-testing.

An IAAF statement read: "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."

IAAF president Sebastian 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."