World Athletics had said that it would decide whether to allow Russian athletes to compete as 'Authorised Neutral Athletes' (ANA) in international competitions in its next council meeting in March 2021, or earlier.
Russia was banned from competing in international competitions for the next two years, including the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, through a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). CAS's ruling is a reduction from the initial four-year ban the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had imposed.
"World Athletics is pleased that CAS's decision was guided by the international standard which World Athletics helped to set following the stand the sport took in 2016," said World Athletics in a statement. Athletics' global governing body said that the decision does not change its process on dealing with the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).
"For the sake of clarity, the decision by CAS today does not change the process that World Athletics has been going through with RusAF over the last five years. The World Athletics Council will consider whether to allow Russian athletes to compete again as ANA in international competitions (including allowing up to 10 ANAs to participate in World Athletics Series events and the Tokyo Olympic Games) at its next meeting, in March 2021, or earlier if the Taskforce so recommends, based on the progress made by RusAF," it said.
Russia will miss the Tokyo Olympic Games and Beijing Winter Olympic Games as the CAS imposed a two-year ban on the country on Thursday. The final decision from CAS resulted from a secret arbitration hearing between WADA and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency last month.
Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at international tournaments, but only as neutrals.