EUGENE, Ore. (AP)International doping authorities approved special exemptions for seven Ukrainian athletes, allowing them to compete in world championships though they hadn’t been tested enough in the leadup due to the war in their country.
The Athletics Integrity Unit announced Friday that the other 15 Ukrainians, along with 134 athletes from five other countries categorized as ”high risk” because of poor testing protocols, were entered into the championships. No athletes from any of the countries are being excluded.
At the Olympics last year, 20 athletes were not allowed to participate under what’s known as ”Rule 15,” which was designed to bring Ukraine, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Belarus into compliance with global testing rules.
”That’s a 12-month turnaround in terms of the attitude that national federations have adopted, and that is really something that’s important,” said AIU chair David Howman.
Belarus has been banned from the championships because of the war in Ukraine.
The main requirement was for athletes from the so-called ”Category A” countries to undergo at least three no-notice, out-of-competition tests no less than three weeks apart in the 10 months leading into worlds.
AIU said seven Ukraine athletes didn’t meet those requirements, but because of the war and ”extraordinary efforts from the Ukrainian NADO and federation to arrange testing,” an exception should apply.
Most Ukrainian athletes have been training away from home for months. The seven who were given exceptions, and were not named, will have at least two tests prior to competing.