Russia's Vladislav Larin is set to return to World Taekwondo competition as an individual neutral next month, despite a ban from the World Championships earlier this year ©Getty Images

Russian Olympic champions Maksim Khramtsov and Vladislav Larin have been cleared by World Taekwondo to compete as individual neutrals at next month's Grand Prix in Paris, despite being banned from the World Championships in Baku.

The governing body has allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to its competitions as individual neutrals provided they do not support the war in Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military, in line with updated International Olympic Committee recommendations.

Fourteen Russian and nine Belarusian athletes competed in Baku from May 29 to June 4, but Tokyo 2020 gold medallists in the men's under-80 kilograms Khramtsov and men's over-80kg Larin had applications to compete rejected for publicly backing Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

World Taekwondo said this followed a three-step verification process.

The pair travelled to the Azerbaijani capital regardless of their bans to assist Russian athletes and coaches, but World Taekwondo said they were not accredited and their participation was outside of its jurisdiction.

Despite the stance at the World Championships, Khramtsov and Larin appeared on the entry list for the World Taekwondo Grand Prix due to be held in the French capital Paris from September 1 to 3.

Non-Government affiliated Base of Ukrainian Sports alleged Larin had asked for donations to the Russian armed forces in a video and Khramtsov expressed his support for Putin and used the military Z symbol on social media.

World Taekwondo confirmed Khramtsov and Larin have been cleared to compete from the end of the month, claiming an independent panel had received no evidence to impose further sanctions on the athletes.

"World Taekwondo can confirm that Maxim Khramtsov and Vladislav Larin will be permitted to compete as Individual Neutral Athletes (AIN) from 31 August 2023," it told insidethegames.

"As per World Taekwondo’s approved verification process for ensuring that all AIN meet the required conditions for participation, the Review Committee commissioned an independent and external review of the AIN who qualified to compete at the Paris 2023 World Taekwondo Grand Prix.

"In regards to Khramtsov and Larin, no new evidence of the athletes having contravened the conditions of participation was reported.

"Therefore, the three-month probation period for the sanctions which were imposed on these athletes in May have not been extended and will conclude on 31 August 2023.

"The Review Committee therefore approved for these athletes to compete at the Paris Grand Prix subject to new evidence being reported."

Base of Ukrainian Sports also raised concerns over the neutrality of World Championships bronze medallists Polina Khan and Tatiana Minina and fellow Russian athlete Magomedrasul Omarov.

The IOC has cited the World Taekwondo Championships as an example of where the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes as individual neutrals
The IOC has cited the World Taekwondo Championships as an example of where the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes as individual neutrals "worked very well" ©World Taekwondo

The presence of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the World Championships led to a boycott by Ukraine, although the Ukrainian Government has since eased this requirement of National Federations for Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers.

World Taekwondo joins the majority of International Federations in following the IOC's updated recommendations on Russia and Belarus, although some sports including athletics and equestrian both led by IOC members have maintained bans on both countries' athletes.

Critics have argued the IOC's stance is too soft in response to the war, and the requirements have also sparked anger in Russia.

The IOC hailed the World Taekwondo Championships as an example of where its recommendations "worked very well and a lot of the athletes and coaches we spoke to were content with that".

IOC President Thomas Bach attended the penultimate day of the event in Baku.