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Russia’s Lasitskene outraged by Bahraini runner Naser case outcome

The World Athletics tribunal failed to prove that Salwa Eid Naser indeed missed her doping test and thus lifted her suspension
Maria Lasitskene Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Maria Lasitskene
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

TASS, October 20. Russian athlete and current reigning world and European champion in high jump Maria Lasitskene is appalled by the decision of the tribunal of World Athletics, governing body for the sport of athletics, to lift suspension of Bahraini runner Salwa Eid Naser for missing doping tests; Lasitskene herself took to Instagram to express her outrage.

In June, the independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) suspended Naser indefinitely for violating rules of accessibility for doping testing three or more times within a 12-month period (twice in March 2019, once in April 2019 and once in January 2020) which violates the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. On October 20, the World Athletics tribunal dismissed the case and lifted the suspension because it failed to prove that the Bahraini runner indeed missed her test in April 2019, while the first March test was accounted as the January one and was, therefore, excluded from the 12-month period.

"It turns out it is faster to break the rules by missing four doping tests and be freed than remain a hostage to being Russian for many years," Lasitskene wrote.

Currently, the Russian high jumper cannot compete internationally as the World Athletics suspended issuance of neutral statuses for Russian athletes to participate in competitions amid sanctions imposed against the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF).

Lasitskene, 27, is the only high jumper to ever win three world championships (2015, 2017, 2019), two-time indoor world champion (2014, 2018), European champion (2018) and repeated Russian champion.