— Published 24 January 2022

Twenty-two Russians have their sesame

The soap opera resumes. World Athletics announced in a press release that it had approved a contingent of 22 Russian athletes who will be allowed to compete in international competitions in 2022 under cover of neutrality. This first list includes Olympic high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene (photo above) and pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova. But, surprisingly, it does not include Sergei Shubenkov, the 2015 110m hurdles world champion. With 22 names, the list of athletes who will be allowed to compete as NAAs (Authorised Neutral Athletes) in international competitions is already higher than the maximum of 20 Russians that the Athletics Federation (RusAF) will be able to enter in the various 2022 World Championships, in indoor, outdoor, cross-country, half-marathon and walking. A quota of 20 athletes that could be further reduced in the event of an anti-doping rule violation, with a 25% reduction for each rule violation.