Last Russian track athlete now banned from Rio

IAAF revoked 2016 Olympics eligibility for Russian long jumper Darya Klishina based on new information it received last week.

(AP Photo/Nikolai Alexandrov, File)
Russian long jumper Darya Klishina speaks at the national track and field championship in Cheboksary, Russia in June 2016. Klishina was banned from competition in Rio Saturday. She was the only athlete who met the standards when track's governing body, the IAAF, banned the Russian team from the 2016 Summer Olympics in June.

The IAAF said Saturday it has banned the only Russian in Olympic track and field from competition and that she is appealing the ruling.

IAAF spokesman Yannis Nikolaou told The Associated Press that the governing body revoked eligibility for long jumper Darya Klishina based on new information it received last week. Nikolaou would not specify what the new information is or who delivered it.

Klishina, a former European indoor champion, was previously 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 e-mail to the AP that an appeal had been filed.

Russia's Olympics chief Alexander Zhukov told Russian news agencies: "The situation with Darya Klishina appears to be cynical mockery of the Russian sportswoman by the IAAF."

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 e-mails 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 featured in that report were able to regain their Olympic spots on appeal to CAS, though others were refused.

The doping issue surfaced in the Olympic swimming competition this past week when American swimmer Lilly King made disparaging comments about Russian rival Yulia Efimova, who was twice suspended for doping violations. The ensuing global media attention in some ways brought more attention to the issue than the proceedings of an alphabet soup of antidoping agencies, wrote Christa Bryant of The Christian Science Monitor.

The facts regarding Efimova's case are not black and white – at least, not based on what has come to light so far. But what is clear is that the fight to clean up sport has entered a new stage in which those most affected by cheating – the athletes themselves – are no longer willing to leave the field to the top officials in sport.

“You’re shaking your finger No. 1, and you’ve been caught for drug cheating. I’m just not a fan,” said King, after Efimova won her first semifinal heat. King beat her rival’s time in the second semifinal, then outswam Efimova in the final Monday night, capturing gold in her Olympic debut race, the 100-meter breaststroke. “It’s incredible, just winning a gold medal, and knowing I did it clean.”

King’s cri de coeur, amplified by the world’s largest sporting stage, reflects a cultural change that has opened the door for such frank discussion. Rather than being criticized, as US Olympic swimmer Shirley Babashoff was in the 1970s for publicly accusing her East German competitors of doping, King has been championed by the US media.

But prominent figures in the doping debate say the spat is also due to failures on the part of global authorities.

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