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Athletics | International

Yelena Isinbayeva © Gallo Images

Isinbayeva vows to quit training if IOC bans Russia

Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva on Thursday vowed to stop training if the International Olympic Committee imposes a blanket ban on Russians competing at Rio and hinted at a new legal challenge.

"If the International Olympic Committee refuses to allow Russian competitors to go to the Olympics, I don't see any point any more in continuing training," Isinbayeva said in an online video on social networking site VK, quoted by RIA Novosti state news agency.

"Many people say I look so good that I can go for another Olympic cycle. But no, I'm already 34, and I will choose my family," Isinbayeva said.

Isinbayeva has said she wanted to end her career with a win at the Rio Games and the decision on Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) came as a shock, she said.

"The CAS decision really disappointed me and killed my last hope and belief that I would be able to end my career on a high note with victory at the Games."

"I already don't believe that the IOC will allow Russian athletes to the Rio Games," she said.

She said that she planned to launch a legal appeal.

"There is some point in lodging an appeal as an individual to complain against the CAS decision," she said.

"If this is upheld, to go further to the international court of human rights, to prove there that I was not involved (in doping)."

"For me it will be a question of principle and it's already not in any way linked to participating in the Games in Rio, since there won't be time for that to happen," she said.

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Isinbayeva earlier angrily described Thursday's court ruling as a "funeral for athletics" and a "blatant political order," speaking to TASS news agency.

Isinbayeva, a three-time world champion who was the first woman to clear the 5-metre bar, has not been implicated in the doping scandals that have engulfed many of her teammates during her glittering career.


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