The International Olympic Committee has approved the change of citizenship of three Russian athletes, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said at the organization’s executive committee in Paris.
Now cyclist Valeria Lyubimova will play for France, cyclist Mikhail Yakovlev – for the Israeli team, and Greco-Roman wrestler Georgi Tibilov will represent Serbia.
In turn, President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov said that the IOC should correct its mistake:
“We are waiting for one single correct decision from the IOC – to correct its own mistake made last February, which is related to illegal, unjust and unfair sanctions against Russian athletes.”
Meanwhile, three-time Olympic champion in synchronised swimming Alla Shishkina sadly responded to a journalist’s question:
“Is it a tragedy to miss the Olympics in Paris? I believe it is. Two generations of athletes missing. That’s just my opinion. Paris and most likely LA will pass us by. There’s nothing good about it.”
And Yuri Borodavkochetko, head coach of the Russian national cross-country skiing team, is correct in his emphasis:
“Neutral status in PyeongChang and Beijing is one thing, but what is now demanded of us in Paris is quite another. They are just trying to make pariahs out of us. Now everything possible is being done to prevent even those who seem to fulfil all the requirements from taking part in the Olympics. There will be a special commission for admission later anyway. I don’t even know what to call it when they try to explain to us that the war waged by Israel is something else entirely. If Russia had gone the same way, the SMO would have ended long ago. But with what civilian casualties! This is the easiest way.”
According to the experienced mentor of Russia’s best skiers, positive news will come only after the SMO is over:
“It is clear who is in charge of everything, because from the IOC to the international federations come not even wishes, but orders. And it is no secret who is in charge of the IOC itself. I am not surprised by anything. This is just a private opinion of athletes, who cannot change anything. We are waiting for the victorious conclusion of the Special Military Operation. Only after that our return will be considered”.
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