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Legendary Isinbayeva blasts recent German film on alleged doping in Russian athletics

January 24, 18:07 UTC+3

Isinbayeva is a triple world champion with a total of 28 world records, and is currently considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time

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Yelena Isinbayeva

Yelena Isinbayeva

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. Russia’s two-time Olympic Champion Yelena Isinbayeva on Tuesday ripped into the recently released documentary by Germany’s ARD television channel on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports and slammed all whistleblowers appearing in the film.

Germany’s ARD TV channel on Sunday aired an interview of Russian track and field athlete Andrey Dmitriev with Hajo Seppelt, a journalist known for reports on high-profile doping scandals in Russian athletics. The Russian athlete claimed that Russian coaches continued their practices of encouraging the athletes to take doping and high results of athletes rested on the abuse of banned performance enhancing substances.

"My question is why, after recording everything on hidden cameras, are all whistleblowers trying to go and sell their materials instead of seeking justice with law enforcement bodies?" Isinbayeva, who is also the head of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), wrote in her Instagram account.

"Why don’t they turn to the Sports Ministry or the anti-doping agency to report these violations and why are we again facing collective accusations against Russian athletes without any proof?" she asked. "And it is worth noting that attempts to smear our country and our clean athletes come from athletes, who failed to achieve results in sports."

"I want to state that the clean-of-doping sports in Russia always existed and will always be and my (sports) career is the obvious proof of it," Isinbayeva, who also holds the post of Russia’s representative to the International Olympic Committee’s [IOC] Athletes’ Commission, added.

Isinbayeva, 34, is a triple world champion (2005, 2007 and 2013), having set a total of 28 world records, and is currently considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time.

She was the first woman ever to clear the five-meter high jump having achieved the feat in 2005. 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.

ARD and Seppelt’s series of Russian doping-abuse documentaries

The ARD’s first two-part documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case), was released in December of 2014 and claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

On August 1, 2015, ARD released another documentary "Doping - Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics." The film claimed that ARD and British newspaper The Sunday Times had obtained a leaked database belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations, which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.

ARD further alleged that a third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests but none of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.

On March 6, Seppelt premiered the third part of his documentaries, entitled "Doping Top Secret: Russia's Red Herrings." In that episode he claimed that the Russian athletics authorities were not taking sufficient steps to clean the sports from doping.

The fourth and the latest part of the German journalist’s documentaries on the allegedly widespread doping abuse in Russia was broadcast in June 8 and was titled "Doping Secret: Showdown for Russia."

The series of German documentaries prompted a reaction from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which ruled in early 2015 to set up an independent body to investigate the issue.

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