Russian high jumper Maria Lasitskene lambasted athletics officials who dismissed doping charges from 400m world champion Salwa Eid Naser, but still prohibit the Russian star from competing despite her clean doping record.
The only female athlete to win three high jump world titles, Lasitskene left an angry post on Instagram condemning the officials for their decision to clear Bahrain’s athlete of doping charges after she missed four doping tests.
The Russian star, who is not eligible to take part in international events even under neutral status due to Russia’s doping row, said World Athletics treats her as “a long-term hostage” who is held because of her nationality.
“It turns out that it’s faster to break the rules by missing four doping tests and be free than to become a long-term hostage for being Russian,” Lasitskene wrote.
The 22-year-old Naser, who won gold at last year’s world championships in Doha, faced a two-year ban after she was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in June for missing four doping tests within 12 months.
The decision to clear Naser of doping violations came after a World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal dropped the charges against her for committing four “whereabouts failures.”
One of the four missed tests was dismissed after it was proved that an anti-doping official knocked on a storage unit door rather than Naser’s apartment.
The three other whereabouts failures did not occur within a 12-month span, meaning that Naser didn’t commit any doping violations and will be able to compete without any restrictions.
Lasitskene and the rest of her teammates are not allowed to compete internationally after World Athletics suspended the process of granting neutral status to Russian athletes.
The athletics governing body said the process will be relaunched after the Russian Athletic Federation pays the fine imposed on it. However, no Russian athlete has been granted neutral status, even after Russian officials cleared the debt demanded by World Athletics.