MOSCOW (Reuters) – 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 on Friday.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) 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’ coach Viktor Vasyatkin told TASS that she had a cold that would rule her out of the March 2-4 event in Belgrade while the other two athletes have ended their winter seasons.
Their absence means that Russia could send only one athlete, 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.
The IAAF allowed Klishina to compete last year and she took part in the Rio Olympics while Stepanova has barely competed after fleeing Russia after giving evidence about the country’s doping regime.
All other Russians remain ineligible as the country’s athletics federation is suspended from all competition as a result of widespread state-sponsored doping and corruption.
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Alison Williams)