Lasitskene hits out at Russian athletics authorities over WADA ban

By Sports Desk December 10, 2019

Mariya Lasitskene has criticised Russian authorities for their failure to protect the country's athletes after the World Anti-Doping Agency imposed a four-year ban on their participation in global events.

Russian athletes or teams will be unable to compete under their country's flag or anthem at worldwide sporting competitions over the next four years.

This suspension means Russia are set to have no representatives at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the 2022 World Cup.

President Vladimir Putin suggested on Tuesday that Russia have grounds to appeal the proposed sanctions, which relate to the tampering of test results taken from a Moscow laboratory this year.

However, Lasitskene - a three-time high jump world champion, who was unable to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics due to a blanket ban on Russian athletes put in place just prior to the event - has pinned the blame on Russia's Sports Ministry and Olympic Committee.

"I wonder, what exactly Russian Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) did over the last four years to protect me?" Lasitskene wrote in an open letter published on Russian sports website Championat.

"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.

"Do you want me to personally sue Mr. Shlyahtin [Dmitri, president of the Russian Athletics Federation] whose actions led to the current situation?

"Okay 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?"

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