Clean Russian athletes to miss European championships

Sprinter Kristina Sivkova’s coach rules her out of competition because of a cold

Kristina Sivkova: unable to compete. Photograph: Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Defending pole vault champion Anzhelika Sidorova and sprinter Kristina Sivkova will miss next week’s European indoor athletics championships despite being cleared to compete by the IAAF, Russian news agency Tass reported.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said on Thursday that Sidorova, Sivkova and hammer thrower Aleksei Sokirskii all met the “exceptional eligibility criteria” after showing they had undergone dope testing in an environment considered acceptable by the doping review board.

However, Sivkova’s coach, Viktor Vasyatkin, told Tass that Sivkova had a cold that would rule her out of the March 2nd-4th event in Belgrade, while the other two athletes have ended their winter seasons.

Their absence means Russia could send only long jumper Darya Klishina to the championships as it was unclear if middle-distance runner Yuliya Stepanova, who was also previously declared eligible, would attempt to take part.


Fled Russia

The IAAF allowed Klishina to compete last year and she took part in the Rio Olympics. Stepanova has barely competed after fleeing Russia because she gave evidence about the country’s doping regime.

All other Russians remain ineligible as the country’s athletics federation is suspended from all competition, the result of widespread state-sponsored doping and corruption.

– (Reuters)