Darya Klishina, the sole Russian track and field athlete permitted to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics amid allegations of Russia’s state-sponsored doping scandal, released a statement on Saturday expressing her intent to file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) revoked her eligibility status in the Games on August 10.
News of Klishina’s ban emerged just one day after the athlete arrived in Rio de Janeiro to prepare for the women’s long jump qualifying event, which takes place on Tuesday, prompting Klishina to speak out against the allegations in a statement posted to her official Facebook page on August 13.
Finily arrived to the destination just now. Standing high above the Olympic village watching 1000s of athlets excited to participate at the Olympic Games. Наконец добралась до пункта назначения. В Олимпийской деревне, с высоты, смотрю на тысячи возбужденных атлетов перед участием в Олимпийских Играх.
“I am appealing today’s decision by the IAAF Doping Review Board to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Ad Hoc division in Rio) to ban me from the Rio Olympics and other IAAF sanctioned events thereafter,” Klishina began in her statement. “I am seeking an emergency hearing this weekend for a decision to be made as soon as possible by the highest court in sports about my eligibility in Rio.”
The IAAF confirmed its decision to revoke Klishina’s eligibility status and ban her from the Games after reportedly receiving “new information” regarding Klishina’s participation in the federation’s alleged state-backed cheating program, telling Reuters that Darya had been informed about the revocation last week.
“We have withdrawn her exceptional eligibility status which enables her to compete in international competitions based on new information that has been received,” an IAAF official revealed to the site.
Prior to the ban, Klishina remained the sole Russian athlete to receive permission from the IAAF to compete in this year’s Games following a blanket ban on the nation in response to doping allegations. Prior to the start of the Games, the IAAF had determined that Darya, who is currently based in the United States, was not involved in the alleged doping program and has since complied with standard drug testing procedures by what the IAAF has deemed a “credible anti-doping agency,” thereby allowing her to participate in Rio, The Guardian reports.
While the IAAF has not elaborated on its decision to revoke Klishina’s eligibility just days ahead of the qualifying round for the women’s long jump event, Klishina’s mother was quoted by Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda as saying that investigators discovered scratches on the containers used by Darya to hold her samples during the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Reuters reports.
The site further explains that according to preliminary reports published by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator, Richard McLaren, Russian security officials had discovered a way to open tamper-proof bottles used to collect urine from athletes during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi with the intent of swapping tainted samples for clean ones, albeit leaving behind scratches on the glass as evidence of having altered the samples.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Culture, Sports, and Youth Affairs, Dmitry Svishchev, expressed his displeasure with the IAAF’s ban on Darya Klishina, calling the decision “an abuse of power” while Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko called the accusations against Darya a “campaign directed against Russian sport, to discredit it. It’s beyond the realm of common sense,” The Guardian reports.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has since released a statement regarding Klishina’s appeal and said that it would arrive at a final decision before midnight on Sunday, August 14, prior to the qualifying event for the women’s long jump on Tuesday, RT reports.
Darya Klishina vehemently denied allegations of her participation in the doping scandal in her Facebook statement yesterday, admitting that she feels “betrayed” and is “falling victim” to a system that manipulates sport for political purposes.
“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,” Klishina concluded.
What do you think of Darya Klishina’s last-minute ban from the 2016 Rio Olympics?
[Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images]