Russia should do more to help its retired sporting heroes, pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva said Monday.
The double Olympic champion shelved her own plans to retire after she claimed the bronze medal at the London Games in August, but said former athletes were neglected despite sacrificing their health to win prizes for Russia.
“After the end of their careers, athletes are often left alone with their health woes,” Isinbayeva said. “I think that the state does not address this issue adequately.”
Athletes were poorly rewarded for their patriotism, she suggested.
“We’re straining every nerve when defending Russia on international arenas, we don’t spare ourselves.”
Isinbayeva, who has set 28 world records, has said she wants to compete at the 2013 world championships on home soil in Moscow.