Rus­sian stars slam ‘un­fair’ sus­pen­sion

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MOSCOW: Rus­sian track and field stars in­clud­ing pole vault star Ye­lena Is­in­bayeva yes­ter­day de­nounced as “com­pletely un­fair” the de­ci­sion by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) de­ci­sion to pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pend Rus­sia.

“Why do peo­ple like me have to suf­fer from the mis­takes of ir­re­spon­si­ble ath­letes?” three-time Olympic medal­list Is­in­bayeva told re­porters. A World An­ti­Dop­ing Agency (WADA) in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion last week pub­lished a damn­ing re­port that al­leged Rus­sian ath­let­ics were plagued with state-spon­sored dop­ing and large-scale cor­rup­tion, and rec­om­mended that track and field ath­letes be barred from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. The IAAF on Fri­day handed the Rus­sian ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion a pro­vi­sional sus­pen­sion, spark­ing in­dig­na­tion among the coun­try’s bright­est track and field stars.

Is­in­bayeva, 33, for whom the up­com­ing Rio Olympics would be her fifth and a fin­ish of her ca­reer, wrote Satur­day on In­sta­gram she was “shocked” by the de­ci­sion, af­ter hav­ing im­plored world ath­letis’ gov­ern­ing body for le­niency. Rus­sian sport­ing of­fi­cials have an­nounced a three-month plan to re­vamp ath­let­ics in time for track and field stars to par­tic­i­pate in the Rio de Janeiro Games in Au­gust 2016. For­mer WADA head Dick Pound­who served as the head of the in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion-said that Rus­sia’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Rio would de­pend on its abil­ity to promptly clean up its act. “Pound said it was a shame that I was a vic­tim of the sys­tem,” Is­in­bayeva said. “But I am not a vic­tim of the sys­tem. I am out­side it.” Is­in­bayeva’s coach, Yevgeny Trofimov, told Rus­sian press on Satur­day that the four-time Olympian could pon­der com­pet­ing as an in­de­pen­dent ath­lete un­der the Olympic flag, a prospect the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) pres­i­dent Thomas Bach dis­missed as “spec­u­la­tion.”

“There are dis­cus­sions go­ing on about this in sport­ing cir­cles,” Is­in­bayeva said of the prospect of Rus­sian track and field ath­letes com­pet­ing as in­de­pen­dents in Rio. “But I don’t know whether this is even pos­si­ble.” World cham­pion hur­dler Sergei Shubenkov-the 25-year-old son of prom­i­nent Soviet hep­tath­lete Natalya Shubenkova-de­plored he could re­live his mother’s ex­clu­sion of the 1984 Los An­ge­les Games, which the Soviet Union boy­cotted.

“What have I done?” asked Shubenkov, the two-time Euro­pean cham­pion who clocked a na­tional record of 12.98 to take gold at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Beijing in Au­gust. — AFP


MOSCOW: Rus­sia’s high jump ath­lete Anna Chicherova an­swers jour­nal­ists’ ques­tions dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Moscow yes­ter­day fol­low­ing Rus­sia’s pro­vi­sional sus­pen­sion from ath­let­ics by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF).

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