‘What did you do to protect us?’ High jump world champion Lasitskene lashes out at Russian sport bosses
Prominent Russian high jumper Maria Lasitskene has lambasted national sport bosses for their inability to protect athletes from yet another wave of sanctions imposed on the country, following the long-running doping scandal.
In an open letter to the Russian Sports Ministry, the three time world champion accused the sports officials of incompetence, insisting that they did nothing to fight for the rights of the Russian athletes.
“I wonder, what exactly Russian Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) did over the last four years to protect me?,” Lasitskene wrote.
“You have created numerous commissions, but I didn’t find any reports containing results of their work. At the moment I don’t have even a neutral status and I don’t have an ability to receive it.”Also on rt.com ‘What happened today is a disgrace!’: High jump world champion Maria Lasitskene
The 26-year-old reminded Russian sport bosses that the long lasting doping row denied Russian athletics team a chance to take part in 2016 Rio Olympics, due to a blanket ban imposed right on the verge of the Games.
“Do you want me to personally sue Mr. Shlyahtin (president of the Russian Athletics Federation) whose actions led to the current situation?,” the reigning high jump world champion said.
“Ok, I will consider this option. I have already missed one Olympic tournament and wasn’t allowed to compete internationally for more than a year and a half. And it seems that it’s not the limit. Who is responsible for that? Who will bring me back the lost time?”
The world renowned athlete underlined that she wants to compete under her national flag without any restrictions and sanctions, as her foreign counterparts do.
“How could we get into a situation when an athlete should be pleased with a neutral status?” Lasitskene went on to ask.
“I’m a Russian athlete who wants to compete internationally without any restrictions: with the Russian flag and anthem. I don’t want and I don’t have to wake up doubting whether the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) would be in a good mood to approve me for a competition or not,” she added.Also on rt.com ‘Ask Armstrong, Gatlin & Coleman’: Russian high jump champ Lasitskene tells USADA boss to ‘watch his language’ after calls for ban