Russian high jumper nominated for IAAF ‘Athlete of the Year’ despite national federation ban
The list of 10 men and 10 women, which is fully comprised of the 2017 world gold medalists, was revealed by the IAAF on Monday.
Among them was Russia’s Lasitskene, who performed under a neutral flag at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in August, as the country’s athletics federation remains suspended as the result of an ongoing doping scandal.
Lasitskene was among 19 Russian athletes allowed to compete at the Championship under a neutral flag this summer.
The shorthanded Russian squad, registered as Authorized Neutral Athlete, however, finished their championship run with five silver and one golden medal, which was won by Lasitskene.
She had to skip last year’s Summer Olympics in Rio due to a blanket ban of Russian track and field team, imposed by the IAAF, now has a chance to become 2017 IAAF’s female athlete of the year.
The ban then resulted in a number of notable Russian athletes missing the Games, including the 2015 110m hurdles world title holder, Sergey Shubenkov, and two-time Olympic gold medal-winning pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.
For the first time in recent years, the men's list does not include the current world sprint record holder, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who has previously won the IAAF World Athlete of the Year six times.
Bolt’s farewell season didn’t go as the prominent sprinter had planned, as he took bronze in the 100m final finishing behind two American runners Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman, respectively.
He also failed to cross the finish line in the men’s 4х100m relay after sustaining a hamstring injury.
The 2017 Athletes of the Year winners will be announced at the IAAF Athletics Awards on November 24.