Russian Long Jumper Darya Klishina Contemplated Doping At 15, Refused
Russian long jumper Darya Klishina told the BBC that she once contemplated taking performance enhancing drugs to improve at 15 years old but decided against it.
Klishina is one of 19 Russian track and field athletes cleared to compete at the IAAF World Championships in London as the country is still banned for its state-sponsored doping operation that was uncovered by the World Anti-Doping Agency. She was the lone Russian track and field athlete able to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She finished ninth overall in the final.
"I did think about it once when I was 15," Klishina said. "My personal best was 6.30m and I was looking at the older girls who were jumping seven meters. I thought it was impossible without drugs."
"I kept practicing and practicing," she added. "I didn't make huge improvements, but managed a Russia youth record of 6.52m. I was so happy. And then I leapt to 7.03m - the first time in my life over 7 meters. I thought: Life is perfect. You can train and compete without taking illegal substances."
Klishina has never tested positive for any performance enhancing drugs.
While in London, Klishina will be competing as a neutral athlete and is not permitted to wear a Russian national team uniform.
Russian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov won a silver medal in the men's 110-meter hurdles but did not drape a Russian flag around himself when he celebrated. He also wore a plain baby blue Nike jacket while accepting his medal.
Klishina is competing the women's long jump qualifying round on Wednesday.