Friday 28 October 2016

Double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva pleads with IAAF not to ban Russia

Martyn Ziegler

Published 13/11/2015 | 16:38

Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva
Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva

Russia's double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has written an open letter pleading for world athletics body the IAAF not to issue a blanket ban on the country's athletes.

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The IAAF's ruling council is meeting on Friday night and is expected to announce a provisional suspension following the World Anti-Doping Agency's independent commission which found evidence of "state-sponsored" doping in Russia.

Isinbayeva's letter has been published on the Russian athletics federation's website and says it is unfair to ban clean athletes such as herself.

She says: "All my victories are honest, "clean" and deserved. I have always followed and am following all the anti-doping rules precisely. The situation the Russian national team is in now is very sad but I ask you not to treat all the athletes in the same negative way.

"To ban innocent and not connected to that doping scandal athletes from competing in international events and Olympic Games in Rio is not fair. I hope for the wisdom of the leaders of the IAAF. And I believe that the correct decision will be taken.

"Those who are guilty will pay their price, and those who are innocent will have the opportunity to compete and represent our country in a dignified manner at all international sports arenas. "

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