The International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF’s) Doping Review Board has turned down applications from 67 Russian athletes to compete internationally as “neutral” individuals.

This followed a blanket ban on the country’s track and field athletes for systematic doping.

The All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) said in a statement on Sunday it was informed by the sport’s world governing IAAF that only one application had been approved, from long jumper Darya Klishina, out of 68 requests made.

“The rest of the 67 athletes who have been approved by the ARAF’s board as they have fulfilled the federation’s criteria to compete in the Olympics have been refused,” ARAF said on its website (www.rusathletics.com).

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia’s track and field athletes last year after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report uncovered systematic state-sponsored doping in the country.

The ban was extended last month, which ruled Russia’s athletes out of next month’s Rio Olympics, although ARAF has appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.. CAS is due to rule on the case by July 21.

Individual Russian athletes, however, could apply to the IAAF for exemptions to compete as a “neutral athlete” if they could prove they were not involved in the system and were subjected to drug tests outside the country.

However, the 25-year-old Klishina, who finished 10th in the long jump at last year’s world championships in Beijing, was the only one of the 68 athletes approved by ARAF who has been cleared by the IAAF to compete internationally as a “neutral”.

Klishina’s was one of 136 appeals to the IAAF under the neutral athlete provisions and most of the applications had been reviewed, the IAAF had said on Saturday.

Russian doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova’s application to compete as an individual was accepted by the IAAF on July 1.

She competed in the 800 meters at the European Athletics Championships on Wednesday although she pulled out injured.

The former drug cheat’s revelations helped expose the massive doping problem in her country and she left Russia and went into hiding after disclosing the issue.

She is still waiting to hear from the International Olympic Committee whether she can participate in the Rio Games.

NAN

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