Olympic and World champion High Jumper calls for IOC to end Russian athletes ban

Russian Olympic high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene has called on the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach to end sanctions against Russian athletes.

The IOC recommended a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lasitskene, who won gold at Tokyo 2020, has been banned from international competition since World Athletics excluded “all athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus” from World Athletics Series events, following the IOC’s recommendation.

The three-time world champion also missed out on the 2016 Olympics in Rio when Russia was punished for state-sponsored doping.

She won her 2017 and 2019 world titles competing as a neutral athlete and represented the Russian Olympic Committee in last year’s delayed Tokyo Olympics.

The 29-year-old accused the IOC of preferring to know “nothing of Russian athletes’ opinions and how our athletes live in light of recent events in Ukraine”.

A number of sports federations have taken the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes, officials, and teams from international events.

Lasitskene, who has been critical of Russia’s sporting governing bodies in recent years, said Bach and the IOC had chosen the “easiest solution” in banning athletes because of their citizenship.


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