The deluded Russians continue to believe in the miracle of being reinstated for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships beginning in two weeks in Doha, Qatar. It isn’t happening. However, 20 Russians will compete as independents.

From Inside the Games

Russia’s two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva hopes the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will lift the country’s suspension before the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been suspended by the IAAF since November 2015, when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence through an Independent Commission of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.

The suspension was extended for an 11th time by the IAAF Council in June.

This was despite two issues preventing the reinstatement of RusAF being resolved, with Russia having covered IAAF expenses incurred in legal and administration fees during the ban period.

The other condition was the analysis of data supplied by Moscow Laboratory, which was provided to the Athletics Integrity Unit ahead of analysis.

Key to the extended suspension were new allegations that RusAF aided the forging of paperwork to help Russian world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko avoid a drugs ban.

Other reports claimed that banned coaches and medical staff were remaining active in athletics.

It leaves Russian athletes only able to compete in track and field on the international stage as an “authorised neutral athlete” (ANA), having to meet a series of strict criteria, including proof of regular drugs testing outside the Russian system.

The IAAF-approved athletes are eligible to compete at this year’s World Championships which begin in Doha on September 27, should they qualify and be selected.

In total, 128 athletes have been accepted as neutrals in 2019 with 58 rejected.

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