The world governing body of the sport announced on its website that the decision was made pending further investigation into a number of serious issues arising from their participation at the training camp in Karakol, Kyrgyzstan last month, including the involvement of the coach, Viktor Chegin, who has been banned from the sport for life, reports Xinhua news agency.
The five race walkers include Sergei Shirobokov, who won a silver medal in the men’s 20km event of the 2017 World Championships in London, Sergey Sharypov, Klavdiia Afanaseva, Olga Yeliseyeva and Yuliya Lipanova. Their names have been removed from the entry list of the team worlds and the Doping Review Board of the IAAF will review their status for future competitions in 2018.
A total of seven athletes from Russia enrolled in the biyearly tournament as authorised neutral athletes. The remaining two walkers, Vasiliy Mizinov and Yana Smerdova, are still eligible to compete as the Doping Review Board can confirm that the duo were not present at the training camp in Karakol.
The two-day competition in Taicang is set to feature a total of 379 athletes from 46 countries and regions, with individual and team titles on offer in each of the six races, including men’s and women’s 20km, 50km and U20 10km events.
It will be the first time that all events at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships will be conducted using a pit lane area. If an athlete receives three red cards, they will be required to enter the pit lane and remain in there for the relevant time period — one minute for the 10km races, two minutes for the 20km races and five minutes for the 50km races. They will then be able to rejoin the race but a fourth red card will lead to disqualification.
It will be the second time for the tournament, formerly known as the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, to be held in Taicang as the eastern Chinese city also staged the 2014 edition of this event.