Yelena Isinbayeva, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder, plans to retire if she is not allowed to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she wrote on her VKontakte social media page according to the Russian news agency TASS.
“Had the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected Russian athletes’ participation in the Games, I can see no sense in continuing my training further,” Isinbayeva wrote. “We were planning to clear the height not lower than 5.1 meters. My coach and I expected that I would win with a world record at the Olympics.”
A clearance of 5.10 meters would surpass her world record of 5.06, which was set in Zurich in 2009. Isinbayeva owns the 11 best pole vault clearances in history. Without her in Rio, American Jenn Suhr may be favored to win another gold medal after winning at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport denied the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee, barring the 68 athletes that appealed the ban by the International Association of Athletics Federation from competing at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The International Olympic Committee is still reviewing its evidence and findings before determining whether the entire Russian country should be banned.
The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are set to begin on Aug. 5.