The Belarusian Athletics federation would consider offers from Russian athletes who wish to swap allegiance and compete for the ex-Soviet republic according to the head of the Belarusian athletics federation.
Russian athletes are currently barred from competing under their country’s flag at major international events, including the Olympics, for four years after the World Anti-Doping Agency(WADA) found that Moscow had provided it with doctored laboratory data.
The opportunity for Russians to compete as neutrals is also on hold after Russia’s suspended athletics federation missed a deadline to pay millions of dollars of a fine to the sport’s global governing body World Athletics.
World Athletics requires a minimum three-year waiting period before an athlete may transfer to represent another federation as well as evidence that the country is offering full citizenship and associated rights.
Belarus has won 14 track and field Olympic medals, including three golds, since the country gained independence from Moscow in 1991, making it the ex-Soviet republic’s most successful Olympic sport.
PICTURE CREDIT: BAF TWITTER PAGE