Mutko agrees Isinbayeva should leave anti-doping agency

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko. (Pavel Golovkin, File/AP)

MOSCOW — Russia’s top state sports official agrees that Yelena Isinbayeva cannot continue as chair of the scandal-hit Russian Anti-Doping Agency because of a conflict of interest.

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who oversees sports policy, says Isinbayeva "will obviously leave the post as chair of the supervisory board," in comments to the Russian agency R-Sport.

World Anti-Doping Agency director-general Oliver Niggli said on Thursday that Isinbayeva — a prominent critic of WADA investigations into Russian doping — would have to step down to make way for a new chair who is independent of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Since the two-time Olympic pole vault champion stopped competing last year, Isinbayeva has become an International Olympic Committee member and sits on the Russian Olympic Committee board.

There was no immediate word from Isinbayeva, who did not attend the WADA board meeting on Thursday, and instead spent the day at the Cannes film festival.