Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva, left, has accused IOC member in Britain Sebastian Coe, right, of "trying to keep silent" about her role in athletics' history ©Getty Images

Russian three-time pole vault world champion Yelena Isinbayeva has criticised fellow International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and World Athletics President Sebastian Coe for "trying to keep silent" about her role in the sport's history.

Isinbayeva is widely viewed as the greatest female pole vaulter of all time, but was omitted from a list of 40 women celebrated by World Athletics for their impact on the sport alongside the 40th anniversary edition of the World Championships here.

World Athletics stressed this was "by no means exhaustive", but the absence of Isinbayeva and competitors such as reigning Olympic high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene sparked a backlash in Russia, which along with Belarus has remained banned from its competitions throughout the war in Ukraine.

Isinbayeva's IOC membership has come under scrutiny since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine for her alleged links to the Russian military and the Kremlin, but she shared a video of her winning her first world title at Helsinki in 2005 with a world record of 5.01 metres, accusing World Athletics of attempting to expunge her name from history.

"I remind to the re-elected President of World Athletics of the influence that Yelena Isinbaeva has had on the development of athletics in the world over the past 20 years," she wrote on Instagram.

"The fact that the international leadership of athletics today is so zealously trying to keep silent about the history created long before the beginning of their rule, only proves the greatness, significance and eternity of my achievements."

World Athletics said its list "serves to highlight some of the trailblazers in a sport that has developed dramatically during the past 40 years".

It declined to comment further on Isinbayeva's criticism.

Isinbayeva was a two-time Olympic gold medallist at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, also winning a bronze at London 2012, and remains the world record holder at 5.06m.

She was also failed to make the long list of the greatest moments at the World Championships, from which the public selected their top 40.

The now-retired 41-year-old has been an IOC member since 2016 when she was elected to the Athletes' Commission.

She has often been pictured in military uniform and has previously supported Russian President Vladimir Putin, but claimed her promotions were "nominal" and she has "never been in the service of the armed forces" after calls for her to be suspended by the IOC.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, third from left, has put himself at odds with the IOC with his firm stance in response to the war in Ukraine ©Getty Images
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, third from left, has put himself at odds with the IOC with his firm stance in response to the war in Ukraine ©Getty Images

Coe has led World Athletics since defeating Ukraine's Sergey Bubka in a Presidential election in 2015, becoming an IOC member in 2020 and securing re-election unopposed for a final four-year term in Budapest before the World Championships.

Under the British two-time 1500 metres Olympic champion's leadership, World Athletics suspended the Russian Athletics Federation from 2015 until March of this year because of the state-sponsored doping scandal.

Coe's stance on the war in Ukraine has also put him at odds with the IOC, which in March advised International Federations to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to competitions as neutrals provided they are not affiliated to the military and do not support the conflict.

The World Athletics President has insisted he is "not neutral" in the war, and has admitted it is "unlikely" athletes from either country will return before the Paris 2024 Olympics.