By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) - Seven more Russian athletes, including world champions Sergey Shubenkov and Mariya Kuchina, have been cleared to compete in international competition as neutrals after meeting the IAAF Doping Review Board's exceptional eligibility criteria.
The sport's governing body announced on Tuesday that the seven would join five others previously cleared after satisfying the board that they have been training in an environment that passes the necessary anti-doping requirements.
World champions Shubenkov (sprint hurdles) and Kuchina (high jump) and former European indoor champion high jumper Daniil Tsyplakov were the most high-profile of the seven.
Their participation as neutral athletes is still subject to formalities under IAAF rules that are being completed and the acceptance of their entries by individual meeting organisers.
In total this year 10 applications have been approved and 17 have been declined
The Russian national athletics federation (RUSAF) remains suspended as a result of widespread and systematic doping, meaning that the majority of Russian athletes will miss the world championships in London in August.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Richard Lough)