I'm no traitor, insists cleared Russian Klishina

Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:58am EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Long jumper Darya Klishina, the only Russian athlete cleared to compete in this summer's Olympic Games in Rio, says she does not feel a traitor.

The 25-year-old was given the go-ahead on Sunday by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to compete internationally as a neutral athlete after a successful appeal against a blanket ban on her country's track and field athletes for systematic doping.

Klishina, whose best performance at a senior global event was fourth at the world indoor championships in Istanbul in 2012, thanked the IAAF for giving her the chance to compete in Rio in a post on her Facebook page shortly after the decision.

However, a number of Russian fans were not happy and accused Klishina of being a traitor for not showing solidarity with other Russian sportsmen and women.

"I would like to point out that I didn't start training in the USA with an American coach a month before this situation turned out the way it did. I have been there for three years.

"Therefore, I think it is wrong to criticize me and call me a Russian traitor," said Klishina in an interview with the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) website www.rusathletics.com.

"I am still really waiting and hoping that I will not be going to Rio alone. I want to believe that the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, following its decision on July 19, will give us a positive decision."

She added: "Now we all need support. Let's unite and we will believe right to the end that we will compete in Rio as a team."   Continued...

Athletics - Russian track and field championship - Women's long jump - Cheboksary, Russia, 21/6/16. Darya Klishina during an attempt. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin