JAKARTA: An Olympic silver medallist who gave up Russian nationality due to concerns over its state-sanctioned doping programme cannot compete for Uzbekistan at the ongoing Asian Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled Thursday.
Cyclist Olga Zabelinskaya, who has previously served an 18-month doping ban, switched nations after saying she did not think she would be allowed to compete under a Russian flag at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
She had been listed to race for Uzbekistan in the women’s individual time trial on Friday.
But following an urgent hearing Thursday, the sports arbitration body upheld a ruling that athletes who have changed nationality in the previous three years are ineligible to compete at the Asian Games, under Olympic Council of Asia rules.
Zabelinskaya won silver at Rio 2016 despite only being allowed to participate at the last minute in a legal wrangle over Russian doping.
She had her application to change her recognised nationality for sports accepted this month by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Zabelinskaya told Russian media she was “99% confident that my participation in the 2020 Olympics will be impossible under the Russian flag”, NBC reported.
Russia was banned from this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over its wide-ranging doping conspiracy, but athletes were allowed to compete under a neutral flag as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”.