Athletics-High jumper Lasitskene, pole vaulter Sidorova to lead Russians in Tokyo

MOSCOW, June 28 (Reuters) - Three-time world high jump champion Maria Lasitskene and world champion pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova will lead the 10 Russian track and field athletes authorised to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, the country’s athletics federation said on Tuesday.

World Athletics, the sport’s international governing body, last year fined Russia’s suspended athletics federation and limited the number of Russian athletes allowed to compete at this year’s Olympics to 10, in response to doping offences by senior federation officials.

The federation also named Sergey Shubenkov, the 2015 world champion and silver medallist at the 2019 worlds in the 110 metres hurdles, to the team. The 30-year-old was cleared last week in what the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) described as a “genuinely exceptional” doping case involving a diuretic prescribed to a family member.

The team also includes high jumpers Mikhail Akimenko, silver medallist at the 2019 world championships, and Ilya Ivanyuk, who took bronze at that same event, and long jumper Darya Klishina, who was the only Russian track and field athlete cleared to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Race walkers Elvira Khasanova and Vasily Mizinov, the silver medallist in the 20 kilometres at the 2019 worlds, as well as decathlete Ilya Shkurenyov and hammer thrower Valery Pronkin, were also named to the team.

Russia’s athletics federation was suspended in 2015 in the wake of a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that found evidence of mass doping among track and field athletes in the country. Some Russians have since been authorised to compete internationally as neutral athletes after demonstrating that they train in a doping-free environment.

Many Russians - and all but one track and field athlete - were barred from the 2016 Olympics after a separate WADA-commissioned report revealed a state-backed doping programme across many sports.

At the Tokyo Games, Russians will compete without their flag and anthem, as punishment for Moscow providing anti-doping authorities with doctored laboratory data. (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Hugh Lawson)