MOSCOW — Former long jump world champion Alexander Menkov is among 16 more Russians cleared to compete by the IAAF as “neutral athletes.”

Sunday’s announcement takes to 41 the number of Russians allowed to compete internationally, meaning Russia could field a sizeable but unofficial team at next month’s world championships.

Besides Menkov, the 2013 world champion, several promising junior athletes and some veteran throwers were given neutral status Sunday, following IAAF examinations of their history of drug testing.

It’s far from clear how many Russians could compete at the world championships in London, since many of those approved still need to meet the qualifying standards.

However, the reigning world champions in the men’s 110-meter hurdles and women’s high jump, Sergei Shubenkov and Maria Lasitskene, respectively, are set to defend their titles.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.