Russian pole vault icon Yelena Isinbayeva to legally challenge Rio Olympics ban

She says there is still hope by the end of Thursday that she would be cleared for participation in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games
Yelena Isinbayeva

Unwilling ready to accept her ban from Rio Olympics 2016, Russian pole vault icon Yelena Isinbayeva has said she intends to move various courts to prove that the ban is illegal.

“We will be seeking justice in courts of all instances, including (the European) Court of Human Rights (ECHR),” Tass quoted Isibayeva as saying.

“This is our guideline as we must dispel all doubts for young athletes so that they continue practicing their sports,” the two-time Olympic champion added.

“Clean sports exists and I am one of the examples. So this is our top priority now,” she said.

Isinbayeva said there was still hope by the end of Thursday that she would be cleared for participation in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

“There is still hope,” Isinbayeva said. “There is still hope until the end of Thursday. I am waiting for an answer from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).”

On June 17, the IAAF Council ruled it was still too early to restore ARAF’s (All-Russia Athletics Federation) membership, subsequently extending the suspension of Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

Late last month, the IAAF announced that it had amended the organisation’s regulations in order to allow field and track athletes from Russia to submit individual applications for international tournaments.

The world’s governing body of athletics, however, emphasised that Russians, admitted to competitions on an individual basis, would be unable to perform as part of the national team and would participate only under a neutral flag.

Earlier this month, IAAF’s anti-doping department rejected personal applications from all Russian athletes to participate in international competitions, including the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, except for long jumper Darya Klishina.

Last Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) turned down an appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes filed against the IAAF, closing the doors on Russian field and track athletes to the Games in Brazil.

IOC president Thomas Bach announced that Russian athletes, with the exception of field and track competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.