MOSCOW, November 13 – Russia’s star pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva pleaded on Friday with world athletics chiefs not to enforce collective punishment against her country’s athletes.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) called on the IAAF to ban all Russian athletes from competing in international competitions after accusing the country of “state sponsored” doping in a report published earlier this month.
“I worked hard and honestly throughout my career. I’ve practised and won the world championships, the Olympics Games, set new world records,” said a statement from Isinbayeva on the Russian Athletics Federation official site.
“All of my victories are honest, clean and well-deserved. I’ve always strictly followed and still follow all the rules of the anti-doping code.”
Isinbayeva, who has set 28 world records in women’s pole vault during her career, asked IAAF chiefs to deal with the country’s athletes individually rather than collectively.
“The situation around the Russian athletics team is very sad. But I’d like to issue a pressing request: don’t reduce all our athletes to the same level.
“It’s unfair to deprive innocent athletes, who are not party to this case, the right to compete at the Olympics Games at Rio de Janeiro.
“I hope the wisdom of the IAAF chiefs will prevail. I believe that only the right decisions will be taken.
“Of course the guilty (persons) should pay their price, while all the innocent should have an opportunity to compete and represent our country at the world’s sports venues.”