Abdulrashid Sadulaev is one of several Russian Olympic champions that has been permitted to compete at the World Wrestling Championships ©Getty Images

Three Olympic champions who allegedly participated in a pro-war rally last year are among a large batch of Russian wrestlers that have been permitted to compete at the World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade as questions remain unanswered over their participation.

Wrestlers from Russia are poised to compete under a neutral flag after United World Wrestling (UWW) lifted its outright ban on their participation in April.

The UWW has stressed that each neutral athlete has undergone a "rigorous vetting process" after receiving 235 applications from individuals from Russia and Belarus for the World Championships that are set to begin tomorrow and run until September 24.

The governing body revealed at the beginning of this month that 26 people were denied entry "due to either active support of the ongoing war or confirmed membership in military or national security agencies".

This number has now risen to 30 in an announcement made by the UWW earlier this week.

Under the UWW’s conditions of neutrality, Russian and Belarusian flag and anthem remain banned with athletes from the two countries competing under a neutral banner at the Štark Arena in the Serbian capital.

The UWW has announced that 11 Russian wrestlers will compete as neutrals in men’s freestyle categories.

Among those include Tokyo 2020 gold medallists Abdulrashid Sadulaev, Zaurbek Sidakov and Zaur Uguev.

The participation of the trio comes despite the emergence of a picture on social media showing all three at a pro-war rally organised by Russian President Vladimir Putin at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in March last year.

The picture shows Sadulaev, Sidakov and Zaur Uguev standing next to military personnel who are wearing the "Z" symbol.

Other Russian wrestlers that have been accepted in the men’s freestyle category include Abasgadzhi Magomedov, Shamil Mamedov, Yevgeny Zherbaev, Akhmed Usmanov, Arslan Bagaev, Magomed Kurbanov, Vladislav Valiev, Abdulrashid Sadulaev and Abdulla Kurbanov.

There are also several Belarusians participating as neutrals in the women’s freestyle category, including Olympic medallists Iryna Kurachkina and Vanesa Kaladzinskaya, while the Greco-Roman divisions features more individual neutral athletes.

However, their presence in Belgrade remains in question for an event that is a qualifier for next year’s Olympics in Paris.

A total of 90 quota places will be up for grabs across the 18 Olympic weight categories at the World Championships.

Gold, silver and bronze medallists in each division are expected to secure tickets to Paris 2024, while a further bout between the two losers of the bronze-medal matches is also set to be organised with the winner obtaining the other quota.

Under the qualification system rules approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the UWW, only those counties that took part in the five Continental Championships this year will be eligible to enter the World Championships.

No Russian or Belarus athletes participated at the European Championships held in Croatian capital Zagreb in April.

insidethegames has yet to receive a response from either the IOC and UWW when asked to comment on their inclusion.

It will be the first time that Russian and Belarusian wrestlers will compete at the World Championships since 2021.

The two nations missed out on the 2022 event after being subject to an outright ban in response to the war in Ukraine.

However, the UWW has since reinstated them in line with IOC’s recommendations that athletes from Russia and Belarus should be allowed to compete as neutrals provided they did not support the war in Ukraine and are not affiliated with the military.

Russian athletes have been the dominant force in men's wrestling in recent years.

Competing as the Russian Wrestling Federation, they topped the medals table for freestyle and Greco-Roman in 2021.

As Russia, the team did the same in 2018 and 2019 while Japan have won the most women's freestyle titles at every edition of the Championships since 2013.