While nineteen Russians are participating at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in London as neutral athletes, the IAAF voted overwhelmingly against allowing Russian athletes from participating in the World Championships this week. The Russian Federation was suspended by the IAAF from participating in international world events due to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that uncovered systematic use and abuse of doping throughout the Russian athletic organization.
Russian athletes competing as neutral are barred from wearing their country colors and symbols even cosmetically. Should they win their country flag and anthem are not present during the awards ceremony. The ability to not display country nationalism does not deter athletes focused on defending their title. However the vote of 166 members supporting the ban (21 votes to repeal the ban), was a blow to the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF). The RusAF apology was the first acknowledgment of their failure in the doping scandal and a step in declaring responsibility.
It is unlikely that the IAAF will permit the Russian federation to participate in future events until they adhered to criteria for reinstatement such as standardizing the organization’s drug testing and ceasing the use of banned coaches that are currently active in RusAF.