Vladislav Larin, pictured, and Maxim Khramtsov were not accredited for the World Championships, World Taekwondo has said ©Getty Images

Banned Russian pair Vladislav Larin and Maxim Khramtsov were not accredited at the World Taekwondo Championships, an investigation has found, and operated at the event outside of organisers' jurisdiction. 

World Taekwondo barred the two Olympic gold medallists from competing at its flagship event in Baku due to their open support for the invasion of Ukraine.

However, the governing body launched a probe after Russia's national head coach Vadim Ivanov said the duo were "part of the team" in Azerbaijan's capital between May 29 and June 4.

Ivanov said they helped athletes and coaches and also watched bouts at the Baku Crystal Hall.

A World Taekwondo statement said to insidethegames that its investigation had found that any involvement by Larin and Khramtsov had taken place away from its sphere of influence.

"World Taekwondo has conducted an investigation into the matter and can confirm that the athletes in question were not accredited to participate in the Baku 2023 World Taekwondo Championships and were not granted access to any official World Taekwondo competition or training areas," a spokesperson said.

"Any involvement of these athletes with the individual neutral athletes (AIN) and support personnel in Baku was conducted away from the official competition and training areas and so is outside of World Taekwondo's jurisdiction. 

"As members of the public, there were no restrictions on these athletes attending the World Championships in the stands as spectators. 

"World Taekwondo's conditions of participation only related to their involvement as athletes or support personnel."

Maxim Khramtsov, pictured right, and Vladislav Larin are said to have operated outside the jurisdiction of the World Championships ©Getty Images
Maxim Khramtsov, pictured right, and Vladislav Larin are said to have operated outside the jurisdiction of the World Championships ©Getty Images

Twenty-three Russian and Belarusian athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals in Baku after World Taekwondo adhered to International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendations on competitors from the two countries.

These state that individual athletes should be allowed back if they do not support the war or are affiliated to the military.

"In line with IOC recommendations, World Taekwondo enforced a full restriction on the display of Russian or Belarusian flags, emblems or symbols in the venue," the spokesperson added. 

"These rules were respected by the AIN and support personnel as well as those in the stands.

"The 23 AIN athletes who were verified as eligible to compete in the World Championships were treated like any other taekwondo athlete - with respect and equal rights and responsibilities in every area of the venue."

Larin won Olympic gold in the over-80 kilograms division at Tokyo 2020, where Khramtsov triumphed at under-80kg.

Claims have since emerged that neutral Russians who did compete in Baku were approved despite liking pro-war posts on social media.

World Taekwondo had said a Review Committee and verification process would ensure the "strict neutrality" of any Russians or Belarusians competing.

This matter has been referred to the Committee for review.