Ye­lena joins anti-dop­ing board

New Straits Times - - Sport -

For­mer Olympic pole vault cham­pion Ye­lena Is­in­bayeva was con­firmed on Tues­day as a mem­ber of the su­per­vi­sory board of Rus­sia’s anti-dop­ing agency RUSASA, the Rus­sian Olympic Com­mit­tee said.

The 34-year-old Ye­lena, who retired af­ter Rus­sia’s track and field team were banned from com­pet­ing at last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, was se­lected in De­cem­ber to join RUSADA.

“The Rus­sian Olympic Com­mit­tee (ROC) has nom­i­nated Ye­lena as a mem­ber of the RUSADA su­per­vi­sory board,” the head of the ROC le­gal de­part­ment, Alexan­dra Bril­liantova, told TASS news agency.

Ye­lena, a two-time Olympic gold medal­list, is also an In­ter­na­tional Olympic com­mit­tee mem­ber. But her elec­tion to that body was con­tentious, with a third of the com­mit­tee mem­bers who cast bal­lots vot­ing against her.

She was an out­spo­ken critic of a de­ci­sion in Novem­ber 2015 by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions to ban Rus­sian track and field ath­letes from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. That kept the ath­letes from com­pet­ing in the 2016 Olympics .

The IAAF de­ci­sion came af­ter the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency com­mis­sion said Rus­sia had sys­tem­at­i­cally bro­ken anti-dop­ing rules. WADA sub­se­quently re­voked the sta­tus of the Moscow Anti-Dop­ing Lab­o­ra­tory and stated that RUSADA did not com­ply with WADA stan­dards. Since then, sev­eral more re­ports com­mis­sioned by WADA have found more than 1,000 ath­letes im­pli­cated in the state­backed dop­ing scan­dal.

Ye­lena, among 67 Rus­sian track and field ath­letes ruled out of the Rio Olympics last , has ques­tioned the va­lid­ity of the ev­i­dence against Rus­sian ath­letes and has at­tacked Rus­sian whis­tle-blow­ers.

Ye­lena her­self has never been found to use per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs.

Ye­lena Is­in­bayeva

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