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Isinbayeva quits as Russian anti-doping board chief

Yelena Isinbayeva is a two-time Olympic champion © AFP / Alexander NEMENOV

MOSCOW, Russian Federation, May 31 – Pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva on Wednesday quit as head of the supervisory council at Russia’s anti-doping agency, a step demanded by international officials as Moscow seeks to get its suspension lifted.

Russian sports bosses agreed earlier this month that Isinbayeva would leave in line with a request from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), one of a raft of criteria the country needs to fulfill in order to get its drug-testing body RUSADA reinstated.

Press reports, however, said that Isinbayeva would remain as a member of RUSADA’s supervisory board.

RUSADA has been suspended since 2015 in the wake of the report by Richard McLaren which uncovered widespread doping in Russian sport.

Isinbayeva had been sharply critical of the McLaren report, claiming it unfairly targeted Russia in what she described as a “political act”.

As she stepped down the two-time Olympic champion said RUSADA appeared on course for “interim reinstatement” this month in a move that would see it start to test its own athletes again.

“I’m happy that I’ve achieved my goal. I know that now I need to make way for a new chairman who will complete RUSADA’s full reinstatement,” she was reported as saying by Interfax news agency.

Isinbayeva added that Alexander Ivlev, the deputy chairman of RUSADA’s supervisory board, will be appointed as its new boss in near future.

Earlier this month WADA president Craig Reedie said that the agency could lift its suspension on RUSADA later this year after nearly two years on the blacklist.

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Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who oversees sport, replied that the country will comply with all of WADA’s demands.

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