Russia’s two-time Olympic Champion Yelena Isinbayeva has ripped into the recently released documentary by Germanys ARD television channel on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports and slammed all whistleblowers appearing in the film.
Germany’s ARD TV channel on Sunday aired an interview of Russian track and field athlete Andrey Dmitriev with Hajo Seppelt, a journalist known for reports on high-profile doping scandals in Russian athletics, reports Tass.
The Russian athlete claimed that Russian coaches continued their practice of encouraging athletes on doping and the high results of athletes rested on the abuse of banned performance enhancing substances.
“My question is why, after recording everything on hidden cameras, are all whistleblowers trying to go and sell their materials instead of seeking justice with law enforcement bodies?” Isinbayeva, who is also the head of the supervisory board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), wrote in her Instagram account on Tuesday.
“Why don’t they turn to the Sports Ministry or the anti-doping agency to report these violations and why are we again facing collective accusations against Russian athletes without any proof?” she asked.
“And it is worth noting that attempts to smear our country and our clean athletes come from athletes who failed to achieve results in sports.”
“I want to state that the clean-of-doping sports in Russia always existed and will always be and my (sports) career is the obvious proof of it,” Isinbayeva, who also holds the post of Russia’s representative to the International Olympic Committee’s [IOC] Athletes’ Commission, added.
Isinbayeva, 34, is a triple world champion (2005, 2007 and 2013), having set a total of 28 world records, and is currently considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time.
Athletes accused of fleeing drug testers
The Russian track and field federation says it’s investigating after several athletes apparently withdrew from a competition to avoid drug testers.
The All-Russia Athletics Federation says it has “established the fact of a mass withdrawal of athletes due to possible doping controls at one of the ARAF Winter Tour events.”
Official results from the eight-race meet in Orenburg meet show five athletes who were entered for races didn’t start. One women’s race was left with just three finishers.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any others withdrew earlier and weren’t recorded on the results.
Russia is currently banned from international track competitions over widespread doping.