Tag Archives: Nationality review panel

IAAF clears Haron Lagat to run for United States

Kenyan born Haron Kiptoo is among eight athletes who have been cleared to represent new countries in two months since the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council approved new transfer of allegiance rules.

Five athletes have had their transfer of allegiance requests approved and three have had their eligibility for their new countries determined.

It comes after the IAAF established the role of their nationality review panel (NRP) and worked out the requirements for athletes who wish to represent a new IAAF member federation.

Since the new rules were approved, the NRP has received 14 complete transfer requests in all, some of which are still under review, the IAAF said.

The new rules in question require a three-year waiting period before an athlete can transfer to a new country and sufficient evidence that those countries are offering full citizenship and associated rights.

No athlete can transfer before the age of 20 and none can transfer more than once.

All of the eight athletes in question can now represent their new countries, with the exception of former Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo, who will have to wait until August 1, 2019 to represent Portugal.

Those who can already represent their new nations are Rai Benjamin, from Antigua and Barbuda to the United States, Mike Edwards, from Great Britain to Nigeria, Patrick Ike Origa, from Nigeria to Spain, and Leon Reid, from Britain to Ireland.

Those who have been declared eligible for new countries are Lagat for the US, Miranda Tcheutchoua for Ireland and Weldu Negash Gebretsadik for Norway.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said the rules were updated “for the specific purpose” of protecting athletes from any abuses “that occurred under the previous system”.

The IAAF had long been concerned that athletes from African countries such as Kenya, where the depth of middle and long distance running talent is so great, were moving to earn international appearances – and often healthy salaries – for other countries.

The 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam saw numerous “allegiance transfer” athletes figuring in the medals, most notably from Turkey, whose team included seven Kenyans, two Jamaicans, one Ethiopian, one Cuban, one South African, one Azerbaijani and one Ukrainian.