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Doping: Lone Russian Track And Field Olympian Accused Of "Treason"

Darya Klishina
Darya Klishina
Vera Mukhina

MOSCOW — Russian long jumper Darya Klishina has publicly thanked the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for granting her entry into international tournaments, including the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Following the recent far-reaching doping scandal, which resulted in the disqualificaion of Russia's entire track and field team, Klishina is the only Russian athlete permitted to participate in the Olympics so far, under a neutral flag.

Yet Klishina's green light for Rio was met with harsh criticism and disdain from her compatriots, which prompted the long jumper to release a statement to defend herself.

Part of the negative backlash stems from Klishina's involvement in revealing the scandal. In 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) uncovered systematic state-sponsored doping by Moscow that was partially supported by Klishina's testimony. The investigation revealed widespread doping sanctioned by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. Klishina placed her career on the line by disclosing sensitive information, as the testimony implied that she too was involved with performance-enhancing drugs. Following the intervention by the IAAF, all Russian athletes have been suspended from international competitions, under an extended ban that includes the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF declared that each athlete has the opportunity to appeal the decision and re-apply to meet the new "clean" criteria. The only Russian athletes to be permitted into the Olympics, under a neutral flag, are those who can prove that they had no involvement in the scandal and were subject to drug tests outside of the country. A total of 136 appeals were received by the IAAF, as of now 67 of which were rejected and the only one approved has been Klishina's.

She posted a message Sunday on Facebook expressing her gratitude towards IAAF, which was met with insults and accusation, including criticism of her expatriation to the United States that some equated with a lack of patriotism and even treason.

One user calls her a "sellout," anticipating a swift end to her athletic career and stating that her actions "will be a forever stain on her conscience." Others urged Klishina to change her citizenship and never return. "Looks like she jumps so well that she jumped out of her country. No matter how you perform, you will not have fans in Russia."

Several hours later Klishina followed up her original post: "I'd like to point out that I did not begin training in the United States with an American coach a month before the situation unfolded. After all, I've been there for three years. Scolding me and calling me a traitor is, in my opinion, wrong. Until the last moment I will wait and hope that I will not be the only one going to the Olympic Games. I'd like to believe that the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne will conclude the July 19th hearing with a positive decision for us all."

The athlete emphasizes that she went through the same application process for the Olympics as the other athletes, and it is not her fault that she was the only one who met the criteria set by the IAAF. "Right now we all need support. If the fans turn their backs at a time when we are dismissed and rejected, it is the worst thing that can happen," Klishina concludes. "Let's unite and believe — until the very end — that we will perform in Rio as a team!"

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

How Biden's Mideast Stance Weakens Israel And Emboldens Iran

The West's decision to pressure Israel over Gaza, and indulge Iran's violent and troublesome regime, follows the U.S. Democrats' line with the Middle East: just keep us out of your murderous affairs.

Photo of demonstration against U.S President Joe Biden in Iran

Demonstration against U.S President Joe Biden in Iran.

Bahram Farrokhi


The Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is weak both structurally and for its dismal popularity level, which has made it take some contradictory, or erratic, decisions in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

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Other factors influencing its decisions include the pressures of the families of Hamas hostages, and the U.S. administration's lukewarm support for this government and entirely reactive response to the military provocations and "hit-and-run" incidents orchestrated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies, which include Hamas. Israel has also failed to mobilize international opinion behind its war on regional terrorism, in what might be termed a full-blown public relations disaster.

The administration led by President Joe Biden has, by repeating the Democrats' favored, and some might say feeble, policy of appeasing Iran's revolutionary regime, duly nullified the effects of Western sanctions imposed on that regime. By delisting its proxies, the Houthis of Yemen, as terrorists, the administration has allowed them to devote their energies to firing drones and missiles across the Red Sea and even indulging in piracy. The general picture is of a moment of pitiful weakness for the West, in which Iran and other members of the Axis - of Evil or Resistance, take your pick - are daily cocking a snook at the Western powers.

You wonder: how could the United States, given its military and technological resources, fail to spot tankers smuggling out banned Iranian oil through the Persian Gulf to finance the regime's foreign entanglements, while Iran is able to track Israeli-owned ships as far aways as the Indian Ocean? The answer, rather simply, lies in the Biden administration's decision to indulge the ayatollahs and hope for the best.

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