By Jack Stubbs
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Russian long jumper Darya Klishina will compete at the Rio Olympics after her ban from the Games was struck down by sport’s highest court on the eve of her event.
Russian track and field suffered a final humiliation in Rio on Saturday when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Klishina, the nation’s only athlete to have so far survived a blanket doping ban, three days before she was due to compete.
But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) told Reuters on Monday it had upheld Klishina’s appeal against the ban.
“The parties were informed that the application was upheld and that the athlete remained eligible to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio,” CAS said in a statement.
Klishina had been given an exemption to compete in Rio as a neutral athlete after Russia’s athletics squad was banned from the Games following revelations of state-backed doping in the country.
Ahead of the Games, the IAAF had ruled the 25-year-old, who is based in the United States, was not involved in the doping program and had been subject to sufficient drug tests outside of Russia.
But a source told Reuters new evidence had emerged from a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation conducted by lawyer Richard McLaren, prompting the IAAF to pull her exemption.
Striking down the ban, CAS said Klishina’s permanent residence in the U.S. meant she still met the IAAF’s competition criteria “despite the additional information provided by Prof. McLaren.
“The athlete established that she was subject to fully compliant drug testing, in and out of competition, outside of Russia,” CAS said in a statement.
Klishina was reportedly seen on the warm-up track at Rio’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday, prompting speculation she would still be able to compete.
Qualifying for the women’s long jump begins on Tuesday.
(Editing by Patrick Johnston/Greg Stutchbury)