Accusations of doping have been a recurring theme at the Rio 2016 Olympics, with various high-profile athletes having a go at their competitors – and in some cases, their own teammates – for unethical behaviour.
American’s Lilly King called out Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova for doping, and even took a swipe at fellow American Justin Gatlin, saying that there should be no place for him on their track and field team after two suspensions.
That’s to say nothing of our own Mack Horton, who incurred the wrath of Chinese internet users when he flat-out labelled Sun Yang a “drug cheat”, making reference to his rival’s 2014 ban.
Earlier today, the International Association of Athletics Federations announced that it had banned Russian long jumper Darya Klishina from competing, just days out from her event, which is scheduled for Wednesday.
The ban is especially significant in that Klishina was the only one of 68 potential Russian track and field athletes who was allowed to compete this year, the rest of them ruled out in the wake of a state-sponsored doping scandal.
25-year-old Klishina has been based in the USA for several years, and was previously considered to be clean, however, the IAAF claims that “new information” recently came to light and led to her eligibility being revoked.
Klishina is challenging the decision, and said in a statement to the press:
“I am a clean athlete and have proved that already many times and beyond any doubt. Based in the US for three years now, I have been almost exclusively tested outside of the anti-doping system in question. I am falling victim to those who created a system of manipulating our beautiful sport and is guilty of using it for political purposes. I will take every possible effort to protect my clean image as an athlete. 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.”
A World Anti-Doping Agency investigation uncovered hundreds of positive tests from Russian athletes that were covered up by Moscow’s anti-doping authority, at the request of the Russian sports ministry, between 2011 and 2015.
Klishina’s results were thought to be “credible”, as she lives and trains abroad, but whatever information the IAAF received was enough to call this into question.
The result of her appeal is pending.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Jonathan Ferrey / Getty.