No more neutral athletes - IAAF
Track and field's world governing body, the IAAF, announced earlier this week that it is closing the window for athletes wishing to submit applications in order to take part as neutral athletes in the upcoming World Championships in London on August 4-13.
A statement released on Tuesday from the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) read: "The International Association of Athletics Federations sent an official letter to the ARAF notifying it about closing the deadline for applications to be submitted for the status of neutral athletes' participation at the World Championships in London."
In 2015, WADA's Independent Commission carried out an investigation with regard to the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), and the Russian sports ministry.
The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance-enhancing substances.
Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend the ARAF's membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement to restore its membership in the global federation.
In mid-June of 2016, the IAAF Council ruled that it was still too early to restore Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) membership in the international organisation, subsequently extending the suspension of Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games in August.