A group of Russian athletes has urged its national federation to appeal against CAS over the World Athletics ban imposed on March 1 ©Getty Images

More than 40 Russian athletes have demanded their federation appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the World Athletics blanket ban imposed on March 1.

While Russian athletes have been banned since November 2015 following revelations of a state-wide doping programme, individuals were allowed to compete as Authorised Neutral Athletes until the latest World Athletics action, taken in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.

Now the joint letter from the athletes has been made known to the World Athletics' Russian Taskforce, which has been working for the Russian Athletic Federation (RusAF) reinstatement for the past six years, Irina Privalova, acting head of RusAF President, has told the TASS news agency.

"Yesterday afternoon, we received this letter and discussed it at a working meeting with members of the presidium and international experts," Privalova said.

"After this meeting, a letter was drawn up to the World Athletics working group (Taskforce), which consisted of a number of questions that were present in the appeal of our athletes.

"I want to note that now the Russian Athletics Federation is working very closely with the Taskforce, and the International Federation itself, which has made a political decision not to allow our athletes to compete, is a little away from the process.

"Therefore, I would not mix the process of restoring our federation into one heap and the political, I repeat, the decision of World Athletics itself to ban participation in international tournaments."

RusAF's acting head Irina Privalova has told the Russian Taskforce that a group of athletes have asked the federation to appeal to CAS against the recent World Athletics ban ©World Athletics
RusAF's acting head Irina Privalova has told the Russian Taskforce that a group of athletes have asked the federation to appeal to CAS against the recent World Athletics ban ©World Athletics

TASS has also reported that a group of Authorised Neutral Athletes asked the RusAF leadership on Monday (March 14) to contact World Athletics President Sebastian Coe and point out to him that the ban on Russian athletes from participating in international starts is, according to athletes, a violation of the provisions of the charter of the sport’s world governing body.

The signatories of the letter believe that World Athletics, when making decisions, should be guided only by the interests of athletes and be aloof from politics.

In the event that World Athletics does not guarantee the participation of Russian neutral athletes in international events by tomorrow (March 18), the athletes ask their national federation to suspend the reinstatement process and any payments owed, and then to apply to the CAS for protection of the rights of the federation and the athletes themselves.

"It cannot be ruled out that the Russian Athletics Federation, like other all-Russian federations, will appeal to its International Federation, which submitted to the International Olympic Committee and imposed a ban," Privalova added.

"Certain consultations are underway now.

"But work to restore the status should not stop, I think."

Meanwhile a World Athletics spokesperson has said that foreign athletes, including those from Belarus, who have also been banned from international competition following the Ukraine invasion, will not be allowed to compete in any domestic competitions organised within Russia until the Russian Athletics Federation has been restored to international competition.

"As long as the Russian Athletics Federation is restricted in its rights, national competitions in Russia are held only with the participation of athletes from this country," the spokesperson told TASS.

"Since the Russian federation is aware that inviting athletes from other countries will be a violation of the conditions of suspension, we expect that it will comply with these conditions."