Irina Lashko started diving at the age of five in Ekateringburg, Russia. She represented Russia in three Olympic Games, the first Seoul in 1988 at the age of 14. She finished fourth in Seoul in the 3m springboard but bettered her result after that, taking home silver medals in the event from the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Lashko married in 1998 and became an Australian citizen in 1999. Her first international competition as an Australian was the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
At the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Lashko contested the 3m springboard, finishing seventh and also combined with Chantelle Newbery in the synchronised 3m springboard. The pair won bronze in the event which made Lashko the first woman to win medals in three Olympic Games diving competitions. In Athens she also became only the third female diver in history to compete at four Olympics.