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IAAF Suspends Only Russian Track Athlete at Olympics

The IAAF decides to suspend Russian long jumper Darya Klishina after receiving new information.

Track and Field: 41st Prefontaine Classic Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Entering these Olympics the IAAF made one thing crystal clear: They wanted Russia and their athletes to be nowhere near their competition. However, one exception was made for long jumper Darya Klishina after she sufficiently proved in the eyes of the IAAF that she was not involved in the state-sponsored doping program and underwent drug testing outside of Russia.

But, according to a Reuters report, new information has come to the IAAF’s attention that has caused them to suspend Klishina:

A source close to the proceedings, who spoke on condition of anonymity said Klishina had been suspended as new evidence had emerged in relation to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report, the McLaren report.

Klishina’s season mark of 6.84 meters put her in a tie for the 10th-best woman in the event on the year. As the only Russian in competition, she represented Russia’s best chance at a medal in track and field by definition.

The IAAF confirmed to Reuters that Klishina and the Russian Athletics Federation is challenging the decision to ban her from competition, but Dmitry Shlyakhtin—President of the RAF—is quoted in the story as saying that he is not optimistic about their chances of getting Klishina reinstated.

For her part, Klishina threw some serious shade in the direction of track and field’s governing body in a Facebook post about her situation:

I am falling victim to those who created a system of manipulating our beautiful sport and is guilty of using it for political purposes.

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.

There is time for Klishina to appeal the decision and still get reinstated in the Olympics as the women’s long jump doesn’t have their qualifying rounds until the Tuesday afternoon session. Given, the IAAF’s consistent platform against Russians competing in Rio, however, it is highly unlikely that this decision will be overturned.