Yelena Isinbayeva prepares to retire after Russian ban from Rio

Yelena Isinbayeva
AP
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Two-time Olympic pole vault champ Yelena Isinbayeva, Russia’s most famous track and field athlete, said she sees “no sense in continuing my training further,” according to her social media translated by Russian media.

The comment came after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Thursday that Isinbayeva and 67 other Russian track and field athletes will not be allowed to compete in Rio.

Isinbayeva said she will train through Sunday, when the International Olympic Committee executive board is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting to consider a possible ban of all Russian athletes from Rio.

Isinbayeva said it would take “a miracle” for Russian track and field athletes (other than the allowed Yulia Stepanova and Darya Klishina) to be let back into the Games, according to Russian media.

Isinbayeva, 34 and the world-record holder, last competed internationally at the 2013 World Championships (where she won) and then took off 2014 and 2015 and early 2016 due to a pregnancy and then injury.

In her June return, she cleared 4.90 meters to win the Russian Championship in Cheboksary. It’s the best clearance of any woman in the world this year. Isinbayeva would be the Olympic favorite if she was allowed to compete in Rio.

“We were planning to clear the height not lower than 5.1 meters [in Rio],” Isinbayeva, whose world record is 5.06 meters, said, according to Russian news agency TASS. “My coach and I expected that I would win with a world record at the Olympics.”

With Isinbayeva out, the Olympic favorites include London 2012 champion Jenn Suhr of the U.S., 2015 World champion Yarisley Silva of Cuba and Brazil’s most decorated active track and field athlete, Fabiana Murer.

MORE: Five Russian stars set to miss Rio Olympics