Uniforms in neutral colors must be approved by IAAF officials. Red, white and blue are forbidden, even on accessories. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Regardless, a group of Russian athletes is back at the track and field world championships.Almost two years after a blanket suspension for widespread doping, and a year after just one Russian was allowed to compete on the Olympic track in Rio de Janeiro, 19 will compete at the world championships starting Friday.Keen to head off any Russian celebrations, the International Association of Athletics Federations has issued its 19 neutrals with strict codes of conduct.The Russian flag and national colors are banned, so uniforms in neutral colors must be approved by IAAF officials. If the neutrals win, the IAAF's anthem will play. The Russians certainly looked like a team as they met Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week at their national titles.Their world championship preparation is subsidized by the Russian state, while entry papers were submitted by the still-suspended national track federation, whose head coach Yuri Borzakovsky expects between five and seven podium finishes.Russian media reported both were refused neutral status by the IAAF.An apparent cover-up of suspicious drug tests on the Russian track team before the 2014 world indoor championships is of particular interest.
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