MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Russia’s two-time Olympic Champion Yelena Isinbayeva announced on Friday the withdrawal of her candidacy from today’s election in Moscow for the post of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF).
"I am withdrawing my candidacy due to my recent appointment to the post of the chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA)," Isinbayeva said.
RUSADA announced on Wednesday that Isinbayeva was appointed to take charge of the Supervisory Board of the agency. On Thursday, she was also elected as a member of the Executive Board of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
The remaining three candidates running for the post of the ARAF presidency are current President Dmitry Shlyakhtin, ARAF Secretary General Mikhail Butov and 2008 Olympic Champion Andrei Silnov.
Announcing the withdrawal of her candidacy, Isinbayeva said she was personally wishing to see Shlyakhtin continuing his duties in the post of the ARAF president adding that the fight against doping was currently the priority for sports in Russia.
"The problem of doping abuse is one of the top priorities on the agenda at the moment," Isinbayeva told journalists. "The priority for the sports in Russia is to reinstate the rust in RUSADA."
A year ago year the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of RUSADA, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9.
The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended.
Starting this year doping control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).
Russia’s pole vault queen Isinbayeva, 34, was nominated for the post of the ARAF president by the track and field federation of her native city of Volgograd on November 2.
She announced the decision to wrap up with her skyrocketing sports career this summer during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, where she did not participate after the whole Russian track and field team was banned from the Games on doping allegations.
On August 21, she was elected as Russia’s representative to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission.
Isinbayeva, a triple world champion (2005, 2007 and 2013) having set a total of 28 world records, is currently considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time.
She was the first woman ever to clear the five-meter height jump having achieved the result in 2005. Her current outdoor record of 5.06 meters, set in August of 2009 in Zurich, remains unsurpassed. Her indoor world record of 5.01 meters, set in Stockholm in February 2012, remained unbeaten for over a year, when in March of 2013 US pole-vaulter, Jenn Suhr broke it with a 5.02-meter record to become the second female athlete to ever clear the five-meter mark.
The IAAF named Isinbayeva the Female Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2008. In all, she has been champion on nine major occasions, which include champion titles at the Olympics, World Outdoor and Indoor, as well as European Outdoor and Indoor competitions.