Around 10 Russian athletes have sent individual applications to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to be allowed to compete in this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, it has been reported today.
Mikhail Butov, secretary general of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), claimed he did not know the exact number who had applied and did not reveal their names.
"As of now, about 10 athletes filed their [individual] applications," Butov told Russia's official news agency TASS.
Russians who want to compete at Rio 2016 must do so as neutral athletes the IAAF have ruled after they refused to lift a suspension imposed on the country last November following claims of state-supported doping.
An amendment was passed during the IAAF Council meeting in Vienna earlier this month which means that any individual athletes who can clearly and convincingly show that they are not tainted by the Russian system because they have been outside the country and subject to other effective anti-doping systems should be able to apply for permission to compete in international competitions
The guidelines have been published in the face of opposition from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
He claimed at a specially-convened Olympic Summit in Lausanne last week that any Russian deemed eligible to compete at Rio 2016 by IAAF would have to do so under the flag of that country because the rules do not allow for them to compete as a neutral athlete.
Sir Craig Reedie, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has supported the position of the IAAF, despite also being the vice-president of the IOC.
The IAAF are keen for neutral participation primarily in order to find a way for 800 metres runner Yulia Stepanova to compete, a key recommendation of the IAAF Taskforce chaired by Norwegian Rune Andersen, which ruled that Russia had not done enough to have its suspension lifted before Rio 2016.
Stepanova is the former doping cheat who turned whistleblower and made the allegations which led to the IAAF suspending Russia from international competition following a report from the WADA Independent Commission.
Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov has already said she will not be selected to compete under the Russian flag after she has been accused there of making slanderous and traitorous allegations.
It is not known whether Stepanova is among the 10 athletes to have applied to the IAAF.
Another Russian athlete who could be considered for Rio 2016 is long jumper Darya Klishina, a two-time European champion, who is based has been based in Florida for several years and subject to regular testing outside Russia.
Any Russians granted the right to compete in international competition as a neutral athlete will also be able to take part in the European Championships, which are due to begin in Amsterdam on July 6.
Athletes who want to be considered must apply at least two weeks before the competition they want to compete in, according to the guidelines.
Their case will then be reviewed by the Doping Review Board, a group chaired by American Robert Hersh and also containing Finland's Antti Pihlakoski and Canada's Abby Hoffman.
Hoffman, however, is likely to be replaced when considering the cases of Russian athletes as she is also a member of the IAAF Taskforce.
Athletes will be asked to provide evidence that they have undergone in and out-of-competition testing.
The panel will also consider "whether any coach, doctor or other support person with whom the applicant hasworked has ever been implicated in the commission of any anti-doping ruleviolation(s)" before granting permission, the IAAF have also warned.