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Russia's Sole Track Athlete Cleared to Compete in Olympics

Matt Dunham / AP

Russian long jumper Darya Klishina has been cleared to compete in the Olympic Games after sport’s highest court ruled against her ban on the eve of her event.

Klishina, who is based in the United States, was suddenly suspended by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) on Saturday. The long jumper had been the only Russian to survive the IAAF's suspension of the country’s entire track-and-field team, put into place after damning reports of widespread doping across Russian sport. As Klishina had undergone rigorous testing in the U.S., she was judged to be "untainted" by Russia’s disgraced drugs-testing system, and cleared to compete under a neutral flag.

The latest suspension, just three days before the start of her event, was allegedly linked to new evidence uncovered by an anti-doping probe, the Reuters news agency reported. Klishina denied the claims, echoing the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin by claiming that the ban on Russia’s athletes was a discriminatory Western-led plot.

“I am falling victim to those who created a system of manipulating our beautiful sport and are guilty of using it for political purposes,” she said in a statement on Facebook.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld Klishina’s appeal against the ban, arguing her permanent residence in the U.S. meant that she still complied with the IAAF’s competition criteria.

“The athlete established she was subject to fully compliant drug testing, in and out of competition, outside of Russia,” CAS said in a statement.

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