Russia has six more athletes who have ANA status ©Getty Images

World Athletics has approved the applications of six Russian athletes to compete as Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA), adding to the existing list of neutral athletes.

The World Athletics Doping Review Board found they met the eligibility criteria to participate at international events while the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) remains suspended due to historic doping offences in the country.

However, this does not clear them to compete until sanctions against Russia and Belarus are lifted due to their nations' involvement in the invasion of Ukraine since February last year.

High jumpers Nikita Anishchenkov and Nikita Kurbanov have been cleared, as have long jumpers Artem Chermoshanskiy and Danil Chechela.

Long-distance runner Marina Kovaleva and race walker Maksim Pianzin have neutral status too.

Kurbanov, who applied for the neutral status in early 2022 but not early enough to be cleared for last year, said he was relieved to be given the approval.

"I am a little glad that I received this status, although it does not give any special advantages now," said Kurbanov to Russian state news agency TASS.

"But it’s good that I have this status, and I applied for it on January 7, 2022. 

"This application was considered for a year."

Pole vault world champion Anzhelika Sidorova is one of the 79 Russian athletes who has ANA status ©Getty Images
Pole vault world champion Anzhelika Sidorova is one of the 79 Russian athletes who has ANA status ©Getty Images

Athletes must apply four weeks before the deadline for competition that year to be considered eligible for ANA status.

Neutrality rules could be lifted if the World Athletics Council changes its stance on RusAF, but until World Athletics updates its policy on Russian and Belarusian athletes - related to the war in Ukraine - they will remain banned.

Athletes with the ANA status are eligible to compete until the World Athletics Council meeting in March, where renewal will be considered.

Athletes from the country continue to receive retrospective disqualification of results and bans for testing positive for banned substances from the state-sponsored doping controversy. 

Most recently, the Athletics Integrity Unit banned three more Russians last month, including 2014 European hammer throw silver medallist, Yevgeniya Kolodko who was already stripped of an Olympic silver from London 2012.

Hurdler Yelena Churakova and discus thrower Yekaterina Strokova joined her on the suspension list.