From Inside the Games

Russia has not competed under its own flag at the European Cross Country Championships since 2014 after it was banned in November 2015 following allegations of state-supported doping ©Getty Images

A group of six runners from Russia have been cleared by World Athletics to compete in next month’s European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon, it has been announced.

The World Athletics Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of the athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in the Championships on December 8 as neutral athletes under competition Rule 22.1A(b) while the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) remains suspended.

The RusAF has been banned since November 2015 because of allegations of state-supported doping – meaning this will be the fifth consecutive edition of the European Cross Country Championships at which they have been unable to compete under their own flag.

The World Athletics Doping Review Board, composed of chair Robert Hersh from the United States, Sylvia Barlag from The Netherlands and Antti Pihlakoski from Finland, has so far this year cleared 135 Russian athletes in a number of disciplines to compete in a number of events ranging from the World Championships in Doha to the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku.

The latest group is led by Russia’s junior indoor 3,000 metres champion Lilia Mendaeva and Ildar Nadyrov, a silver medallist in the 1,500m at this year’s Russian indoor championships.

They will compete in the senior women and men’s races in the Portuguese capital, although they are not expected to be among the medal contenders.

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