Ex-world champ Menkov among 16 Russians cleared to compete

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July 10, 2017
In this Friday, August 16, 2013 file photo, Russia's Aleksandr Menkov competes in the men's long jump final at the World Athletics Championships in the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia. Former world long jump world champion Alexander Menkov is among 16 more Russians cleared to compete by the IAAF as so-called neutral athletes it was announced yesterday. (AP Photo)

MOSCOW, Russia (AP):

Former long jump world champion Alexander Menkov is among 16 more Russians cleared to compete by the IAAF as "neutral athletes."

Yesterday's announcement takes to 41 the number of Russians allowed to compete internationally, meaning Russia could field a sizeable but unofficial team at next month's World Championships.

Besides Menkov, the 2013 world champion, several promising junior athletes and some veteran throwers were given neutral status, following IAAF examinations of their history of drug testing.

It's far from clear how many Russians could compete at the World Championships in London, since many of those approved still need to meet the qualifying standards.

However, the reigning world champions in the men's 110-metre hurdles and women's high jump, Sergei Shubenkov and Maria Lasitskene, respectively, are set to defend their titles.

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