Sole Russian track athlete banned from Rio, quickly appeals
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The IAAF said Saturday it has banned the only Russian in Olympic track and field from competition and that she is appealing the ruling.
The eligibility of long jumper Darya Klishina was revoked by the IAAF based on new information it received last week, spokesman Yannis Nikolaou told The Associated Press. He would not specify what the new information is or who delivered it.
Klishina, a former European indoor champion, previously was the only one of 68 Russians allowed to compete in the sport amid a massive doping scandal. The IAAF had accepted her application because she is based in the United States. The rest of the Russian team was banned over allegations of a widespread, state-sponsored doping program.
Nikolaou said Klishina has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and a decision is expected either Sunday or Monday, before the long jump competition begins Tuesday. Mathieu Reeb, the secretary general of the court, confirmed by email to the AP that the appeal had been filed.
"I am a clean athlete and have proved that already many times and beyond any doubt," Klishina said in a statement on her Facebook page.
"Based in the U.S. for three years now, I have been almost exclusively tested outside of the anti-doping system in question," she added, an apparent reference to the Russian anti-doping agency, which remains suspended over doping cover-ups.
"I am falling victim to those who created a system of manipulating our beautiful sport and is guilty of using it for political purposes," she said.
"I will take every possible effort to protect my clean image as an athlete," Klishina said. "At this moment, I cannot help but feel betrayed by a system that is not focused on keeping the sport clean and supporting rank-and-file athletes, but rather seeking victories outside sport arenas."
The president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, condemned the IAAF decision. "Overall, all of this looks like a mockery of the athlete by the IAAF," he said in a video message posted by the Russian Olympic Committee.
The International Olympic Committee ruled out a blanket ban on Russia last month but imposed new rules which have barred some Russian athletes in various sports because their names were implicated in a report by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren, who alleged a major doping cover-up.
McLaren said he had received leaked emails in which senior Russian Sports Ministry officials discussed whether or not to conceal doping cases related to hundreds of athletes across dozens of Olympic and non-Olympic sports.
Some Russian athletes who were named in that report were able to regain their Olympic spots on appeal to CAS, although others were refused.
"If Darya Klishina is in the McLaren list, then the IAAF must have been aware of it for a long time," Zhukov said. "They, as I understand it, only addressed questions to Klishina on Aug. 6. She answered them, and they only took this decision today, Aug. 13. Why it couldn't have been done while all the other federations were examining the problems with athletes who were in the McLaren list is completely incomprehensible."
McLaren has previously said his investigation is continuing and that more athletes could be implicated as more evidence emerges.