Three Russian athletes cleared to compete

Three Russian athletes have have been given IAAF clearance to compete as neutral athletes in international competition, the athletics governing body confirmed on Thursday.

Pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova, sprinter Kristina Sivkova and hammer thrower Aleksei Sokirskii have all had their applications to compete during the Russian national federation's suspension accepted.

Their participation is still subject to acceptance by the individual athlete and the organiser of the competition in question but, if agreed, all three could compete in the European Athletics Indoor Championships or the European Throwing Cup in March.

Sidorova is the defending European Indoor champion.

An IAAF statement read: "As soon as the formalities for eligibility under IAAF Rules are completed, the IAAF will confirm to international event organisers their eligibility to compete as neutral athletes."

It was also revealed that six applications have been declined, while applications for competitions taking place later in the year are currently under review.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe commented: "The application process to compete internationally as neutral athletes is about our desire to support the hopes and aspirations of all clean athletes, including Russian athletes who have been failed by their national system.

"While prioritising applications based upon the entry deadlines of the competitions concerned, the primary responsibility of the Doping Review Board must always be to safeguard the integrity of competition."

A state-sponsored doping scandal led to Russia's ban from international competition, including last year's Olympic Games.

Darya Klishina and Yuliya Stepanov, who were previously declared eligible to compete as neutral athletes in 2016, remain able to do so subject to acceptance by individual meeting organisers.

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