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'5 years of disgrace': Russian high jump champ Lasitskene lashes out as World Athletics re-entry saga drags on

'5 years of disgrace': Russian high jump champ Lasitskene lashes out as World Athletics re-entry saga drags on
Three-time world high jump champion Maria Lasitskene made her anger clear at the ongoing disarray surrounding Russian athletics after the country was handed an extension by World Athletics to finalize its reinstatement plan.

World Athletics announced on Saturday that it was giving the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) a new deadline of March 1, 2021, to provide a final plan for it to be reinstated by the governing body. 

RUSAF has been suspended from international track and field events by World Athletics since 2015, after claims of state-sponsored doping were made in a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"The primary reason for the Taskforce’s recommendation [for an extension] is that it believes RusAF currently does not have the resources available to produce a detailed and appropriate plan for reinstatement, which includes the elements required by the Council," read a statement by World Athletics on Saturday.

The organization added that a draft plan for reinstatement submitted by RUSAF was "seriously deficient", but added that “this failure appears to be due not to a lack of willingness but rather a lack of knowhow and resources."

World Athletics announced it had appointed Margarita Pakhnotskaya, the former deputy director-general of Russia's anti-doping agency, as one of two international experts who will help RUSAF to produce a new plan in the hopes of re-entry.

World Athletics said that should the new plan be found inadequate or incomplete, Russia will likely face fresh sanctions or even expulsion from the body.

Also on rt.com Russian Athletics Federation pays $6.3mn fine to avoid potential international expulsion

RUSAF dodged expulsion last month by paying a $6.3 million fine to World Athletics over a doping case – a payment which arrived more than a month after the initial deadline. 

Commenting on the latest developments, three-time Russian world high jump champion Lasitskene – who has openly flirted with the idea of changing citizenship after being forced to compete as a neutral – was again critical of authorities in her country as the saga dragged on, but at least praised the appointment of Pakhnotskaya.

“From the pluses – the appointment of Margarita Pakhnotskaya. Everything else – just another failure from the Russian Athletics Federation and leadership of Russian sport.

“We continue to sit at home and listen to the multi-year story about progress in the relationship with [World Athletics],” Lasitskene wrote in her Instagram stories.


She added the hashtags “#5YearsofDisgrace” and "#HappyAnniversary.”