2 Olympic champs from Russia denied entry into worlds

The Associated Press MONACO (AP) — Two Olympic gold medalists from Russia were refused clearance Tuesday to compete as neutral athletes at the upcoming world athletics championships.

High jumper Anna Chicherova and race walker Elena Lashmanova, who have both served doping bans, were among 18 Russians rejected by the IAAF, the country’s federation said. In a separate statement, the IAAF said it cleared 11 other Russians to compete.

The world championships start in Doha on Sept. 27.

Other athletes with prior doping sanctions, including 400-meter runner Antonina Krivoshapka, 800 runner Ekaterina Poistogova and former world indoor triple jump champion Ekaterina Koneva, were also rejected.

An IAAF vetting panel examined the drug-testing records of the 11 athletes that were cleared, giving them exemptions from Russia’s ban on competing internationally. They include six current national champions.

Many of the 11 have already met the performance standards to compete at the worlds, but it wasn’t immediately clear if they would all compete. High jumper Mikhail Akimenko, whose jump of 2.33 meters in July is tied for second-best in the world this year, is among the cleared athletes.

Russia’s team has been barred from international events since 2015 because of widespread doping, but 130 competitors are currently approved to participate as neutral athletes. Another Russian, sprinter Igor Obraztsov, was stripped of this status in May after failing a doping test.

The IAAF could still reinstate Russia in time for the championships, but that seems unlikely after it expressed concern in June that the country was falling back on anti-doping reforms.

Europe wins duel with U.S.

MINSK (AP) — Europe beat the United States on Tuesday to win the inaugural edition of “The Match,” a new team competition in athletics.

Europe pulled away on the second and final day of the competition to win by 724.5 points to 601.5 from 37 events.

With the world championships just over two weeks away, some medal contenders used the event as a tune-up, and others skipped it entirely. The competition saw four athletes from the United States and four from Europe enter each event. The teams were then awarded points based on the placements in each event.

The world champion over 200 meters, Ramil Guliyev of Turkey, won his event comfortably in 20.16 seconds, far slower than his season best. Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer fell while leading the 400 hurdles, with victory going to Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova.

World high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene from Russia saw her unbeaten streak going back to January end as she finished third, behind winner Yulia Levchenko of Ukraine. Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova won the long jump, while two-time Olympic medalist Brittney Reese took third.

On Monday, Belarus’ Maksim Nedasekau won the men’s high jump with 2.35 meters, the best in the world this season. Six-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix was beaten by fellow American Wadeline Jonathas in the 400 final Monday.Speech

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