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Russia picks 10 athletes for limited Olympic track team

June 29, 2021 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia named three world champions on its 10-strong athletics team for the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday under rules limiting the size of its squad because of a long-running doping dispute.

Three-time high jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene is joined by pole vault world champion Anzhelika Sidorova and 2015 world 110-meter hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov. Five more of the squad have won world championship medals.

All of the 10 have “authorized neutral athlete” status from World Athletics after undergoing vetting of their records of drug testing.

The Russian Athletics Federation has been suspended from World Athletics since 2015, when an investigation revealed doping was widespread. Plans to lift the suspension were delayed in 2019 when RUSAF officials drew up fake documents to give an athlete an alibi for missing a doping test. That case drew the ire of World Athletics and led to bans for five senior officials including a former president.

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World Athletics capped the Russian Olympic team at 10 athletes last year. Using quota limits to punish countries for doping is rare, but not unique to track and field. More than a dozen major weightlifting nations will have limits on their teams at the Tokyo Olympics as that sport tries to clean up its own steroid-tainted past.

Russia is competing under the acronym “ROC” for the Russian Olympic Committee at the Tokyo Olympics in all sports because of a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling last year on doping laboratory data which the court found was manipulated while in storage in Moscow. The Russia name, flag and anthem are banned.

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