With Russia’s track and field team facing exclusion from next year’s Olympics, the coach of pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva said on Wednesday that banning the entire team would unjustly punish clean athletes.

Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion and the world-record holder in the pole vault, is preparing for her fifth Olympics.

With Russia’s track and field team facing exclusion from next year’s Olympics, the coach of pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva said on Wednesday that banning the entire team would unjustly punish clean athletes.

The sport’s governing body is scheduled to decide Friday whether to suspend Russia, the first step toward preventing the country from competing on the track at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion and the world-record holder in the pole vault, is preparing for her fifth Olympics.

“Athletes who are clean should not suffer because someone has breached the Olympic charter. It’s very wrong, very wrong,” Evgeny Trofimov, Isinbayeva’s long-time coach and mentor, told The Associated Press.

“Lena’s been in sport for 25 years … and if she ends up not being able to compete, then we’re breaching the most basic law, the presumption of innocence.”

Trofimov said Isinbayeva has never had any involvement with doping and did not work with Russian federation officials and medical staff criticized in a report published Monday by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission.

Trofimov called the report “a political smear” against Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to discuss the doping issue with the Russian track federation’s head coach, Yuri Borzakovsky, in Sochi on Wednesday.

Trofimov also said Isinbayeva, who last competed in 2013, is in good shape and could break her own world record next year.

From: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/russian-pole-vault-great-yelena-isinbayevas-coach-appeals-for-rio-olympics-2016-place/article7866222.ece

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