Not less than 18 requests have been received recently from athletes who wish to change their countries. Some cases are simple, some are more complicated. IAAF rules accept athletes affiliation abroad - subject to the approval of their original national federations. However, for athletes who already represented a country at World Championships, Olympic Games, continental, regional or area championships and cups, further requirements need to be met.
Most simply, if an athlete changes citizenship through marriage, the transfer to the new country is automatic with immediate effect, naturally with the approval of the new countrys federation. This is what happened to Christy Opara-Thompson. If however, the new citizenship is not granted with the marriage, in other words, if the athlete is only in process of acquiring citizenship, competing at such events, for the new country, is not possible for three years after the date the athlete last represented the old country at such a competition. Note that with the approval of the "old" and "new" federations plus the IAAF Council, the three years can be reduced to one.
An example: Bermudas excellent sprinter Troy Douglas is happily married to his Dutch wife, lives in the Netherlands and hopes to be granted Dutch citizenship soon. But because he competed for Bermuda in Athens, he could not compete for the Netherlands in Valencia at the European Indoor Championships, the one year after Athens not having expired yet. He will be allowed to, however, in Budapest because the European Championships are well outside the one-year mark. With the Bermudan and Dutch Federations already in agreement, the IAAF Council will consider the case in Marrakech.
The list of athletes seeking transfer of allegiance: