Olympics: Russia hails ruling to lift Klishina ban, she can compete in Tuesday's long jump

Russian long jumper Darya Klishina competing during a national Athletics Championship in Cheboksary on June 21, 2016.
Russian long jumper Darya Klishina competing during a national Athletics Championship in Cheboksary on June 21, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's sports minister on Monday welcomed a court decision to overturn a last-minute ban against long jumper Darya Klishina from taking part in the Rio Olympics.

"This decision proves that justice can be fair," Interfax quoted Mr Vitaly Mutko as saying.

"You cannot punish her for what she didn't do." he told R-Sport news agency that he regretted that international sports authorities had "played with her nerves".

Klishina, 25, was the only Russian track and field athlete that the IAAF deemed eligible to compete in Rio because she had been training in Florida for the past three years, far from Russia's drug-tainted anti-doping programme.

But on Friday, the IAAF suspended her after undisclosed information about her doping record emerged.

The IAAF revoked her eligibility after Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren - who last month released a report for the World Anti-Doping Agency that accused Russia of "state-sponsored" doping - provided "new factual elements" about Klishina, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said.

After a day of hearings, CAS announced that it supported her appeal and that she "remained eligible to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio".

The CAS panel decided that despite McLaren's new information, Klishina "complied with the relevant criteria (to compete at Rio) because of her permanent residence outside Russia".

The decision came just in time for Klishina, a former European indoor champion, to begin her campaign for the women's long jump competition which starts on Tuesday.