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Wednesday 27, Jul 2016

  Russian Pole Vaulter Hits Out At Country’s State-Sponsored Doping

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Yelena Isinbayeva, regarded by many as the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time, has slammed Russian officials for their failure to defend her in the doping ban row.

The 34-year-old was barred from the Rio Olympics despite the fact that there was never any suggestion that she was part of the Russian doping culture that has shamed the country. The two-time Olympic gold winner and three-time world champion blasted Moscow officials for failing to defend her. Yelena said the defense offered by Russian officials was very weak and she would term it ‘zero defense’. The current world record holder said she is sad and ready to burst in tears in front of this lawlessness and outrage.

It was further remarked by the Monaco-based pole-vaulter that she and her coach Evgeny Trofimov had revolutionized the sport but she was now receiving a slap in the face despite never having resorted to doping. The pole-vaulter added we were ten years ahead of our time and also commented pole jumping became sport number one in world athletics with her world records and victories. Her coach said Yelena would make an appeal in the Strasburg Human Rights Court, the European Court of Human Rights, despite the fact that even a positive verdict would come too late to compete in the Rio Olympics. Trofimov also said the decision of International Olympic Committee is lawless for her and for the team.

Yelena lamented in an emotional outburst that Rio is over and remarked there is no chance for her to stand up on the highest step at the Olympics. The Russian pole vaulter also said no Russian anthem will be played in her honor and she would not be able to cheer her fans by flying over the bar. Yelena also commented she was very upset as this is unfair.

Previously, Isinbayeva had criticized the International Association of Athletics Federations and asked for the entire organization to be disbanded. The pole vaulter remarked the fact that they threw this out shows their weakness and their helplessness and added the presumption of innocence before guilt does not exist and they cannot show who is clean in Russia and who is not and they just show their ineffectiveness. Isinbayeva remarked she would disband the whole federation and would change those running the organization yet again and also commented they are ineffective and are breaking up world athletics. The two-time Olympic gold winner said everyone understands clearly that without the Russians at the Games, only half the TV audience is going to watch the Olympics, and this is bad for the sponsors and also remarked it is also bad for the public who want to watch us compete.

Russian gold winning figure skater Evgeni Plushenko extended support for Yelena and remarked the federal leadership of Russia should back her claim to take part in the Olympics. Evgeni also commented that Yelena was a symbol of faith and overcoming yourself for many people, an idol for millions of fans around the world, because the Olympic movement is not just about competition and also said it is a mission that we are carrying throughout our whole lives.

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Thursday 23, Jun 2016

  Olympic Hopes Not Dead, Says Yelena Isinbayeva

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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva has remarked she will not compete under the International Olympic Committee flag if athletes from Russia are banned from the 2016 Rio Games.

The Russian pole vaulter said the fact that ‘clean’ Russian track-and-field athletes have received the opportunity to take part in the 2016 Olympics under the flag of Russia if granted access by the world governing body of athletics is a victory for Russian sports. The athlete said on Match TV television on June 22 that the hope is still not dead yet and Russian athletes should fight for the right to participate in the Olympics in Rio and file lawsuits. Isinbayeva added she will have the right to participate if her lawsuit is granted and added that the most pleasant thing for her was that all athletes whose lawsuits will be granted will participate under the Russian flag.

Isinbayeva, who won Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008, said there have been suggestions that she should compete under the IOC flag but remarked this does not seem like a real possibility. The triple outdoor world champion said she backs the fight against drug cheats but remarked clean athletes should not suffer as a result. The 34-year-old said she totally understands that the IAAF needs to take strong action to eradicate doping but remarked she does not think it is fair to forbid her and other clean Russian athletes to compete – athletes who have repeatedly proved they are innocent of cheating.

The Russian said she has never failed a doping test – be it in London, China, the United States or any of the European countries where she vaulted over the course of nearly 20 years of competition, including throughout her four Olympic cycles. In an open letter published by the New York Times, Isinbayeva said she has devoted her life to her sport since coming out of retirement after the birth of her daughter two years ago and had sacrificed countless hours pushing her body for the chance to compete one last time at the Olympics. Yelena Isinbayeva added in the letter that her coach suffered a stroke, but even from his hospital bed he wrote training plans for her, never giving up his hope that she would win her third gold medal in Rio. Yelena added instead of focusing on that goal – which would further secure her place in sporting history – she has been struggling with the uncertainty of whether she can even compete in Brazil and added it has been a physically exhausting and emotionally draining time.

A special session has been called upon by the International Olympic Committee on the issue of participation by Russian athletes in the Rio Olympics. The cases as a result involving the Russian track-and-field athletes’ participation in the Games will be reviewed individually. This would mean athletes who are permitted to participate by the athletics’ governing body and qualify for the Olympics can take part in the competitions under the Russian flag.

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