MONTE CARLO: Long-jumper Darya Klishina is the only one out of 136 Russian track and field athletes who has been cleared by the world governing body to compete as a neutral at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The International Association of Athletics Federations suspended Russia from membership and thus international competition provisionally last November.
The ban was confirmed in May when the IAAF ruled that Russia had not done enough to clean up its act after the multiple scandals over state-abetted doping and cover-up.
However athletes based outside Russia and with a clean record could compete in Rio under a neutral flag.
The Russian Olympic committee registered a complaint with the Court of Arbitration for Sport while its top athletes all applied for IAAF exemption. Now the ROC has told the TASS agency that only United States-based Klishina had been successful.
Klishina, 25, is a double European indoor champion and 2014 outdoor bronze medallist. She was 10th in last year’s World Championships.
She must still have her participation approved by the International Olympic Committee which still hopes to see Russian athletes competing under their flag. Organisers fear that a bar on all Russian track and field athletes might provoke a Russian Olympic boycott.
Klishina indicated, on her Facebook page, that she would be happy to compete in Rio under any flag or none.
In a note which included thanks to her entourage, she wrote: “I am really happy. I would like to thank IAAF for its expert decision and, of course, my very professional WME-IMG team . . . Also, I appreciate every effort of IMG Academy and its staff to create the best possible, safe and clean environment for me.”