MOSCOW (Reuters) – Yelena Isinbayeva is to run for president of the Russian athletics federation (ARAF), the double Olympic pole vault champion said.
Isinbayeva, who is unable to compete at the Rio Olympics due to a doping ban on Russia’s athletics team, said on Thursday in an interview with the ARAF’s official website that she wanted to help her country’s athletes return to elite competition.
The 34-year-old, who won gold in Athens and Beijing, is hoping to replace Dmitri Shlyakhtin when he steps down in November.
“The ARAF has a difficult path ahead in trying to return to international athletics,” she said. “The fact that I was not allowed to compete in the 2016 Olympics will help me to try and make sure that the ARAF is a member of the IAAF again.
“I want our athletes to take part in international competitions. The chance to help Russian athletes return to the elite is a huge motivation for me and will be some sort of compensation for not being able to compete in Rio,” she added.
(Reporting By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; Editing by Peter Rutherford)