Russian cyclist to change citizenship over Olympic ban fears

Latest news

    Russian cyclist Olga Zabelinskaya has opted to change her citizenship and compete for Uzbekistan, over fears Russia could be banned from the 2020 Olympics amid the ongoing doping scandal surrounding the country.

    The 2016 Olympic silver medallist voiced concerns over Russia’s participation in next summer’s games in Tokyo, saying that the majority of the country’s leading athletes, including those with clean doping records, had not been invited to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

    READ MORE: Russia riding high in Euro Champs medals table after victory for cyclists, synchronized swimmers

    I don’t feel my age and I’m ready to fight for podium places in Tokyo. But you see what has been happening in Russian sport over the last two Olympic cycles,” Zabelinskaya, 38, told Match TV.

    It all started in Rio [in 2016], then the situation only deteriorated in PyeongChang. I have a feeling that in Tokyo everything will be even worse. I’m 99 percent confident that my participation in the 2020 Olympics will be impossible under the Russian flag,” she added.

    Russian Cycling Federation President Vyacheslav Ekimov said the body does not support Zabelinskaya’s decision to switch allegiances, warning that the athlete would have to sit out a two-year interim period after the citizenship change, which would force her to miss the 2020 summer games in Japan.

    For many years we have tried to do everything possible to ensure excellent preparation of the Russian cycling leader [Zabelinskaya ] for the biggest international events, including the 2012 and 2016 Olympics where she won medals being a member of the Russian team.

    READ MORE: ‘We are ready to welcome back Russia’ – IOC head Thomas Bach

    Her decision [to change citizenship] appeared to be an unpleasant surprise for us and we don’t see it possible to approve Zabelinskaya’s intention to compete for another country,” Ekimov added.

    Russia has been accused of a state-sponsored doping program, leading athletes to be subjected to various sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    READ MORE: ‘USA should urgently address low testing level in pro leagues’ – IOC on Rodchenkov Act

    In February, numerous Russian athletes, including world leaders in various winter sports, were refused invitation to the 2018 PyeongChang Games, after the IOC’s specially appointed invitation review panel declined to allow them to compete.

    View the original article: https://www.rt.com/sport/435331-russian-cyclist-zabelinskaya-citizenship-olympics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

    Russian athletes competing at the Games did so under the banner of ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’.

    In the same category are

    Stunning drone footage shows Fireworks Festival lighting up Moscow skies The festival brought the best fireworks teams from all over the world to show off their stunning skills and light up the skies of Russia’s capital. Th...
    No soda for you! California bill wants to restrict kids from drinking sugary drinks at restaurants A California bill wants to curb the amount of sugary drinks consumed by children by having restaurants provide two default choices - water or milk. So...
    Here’s who was inside the ‘cursed’ Egyptian sarcophagus (PHOTOS) The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has released details about the skeletons found inside the mysterious sarcophagus unearthed in July and opened des...
    Signing nuclear deal may have been a mistake – Iran FM Joining the landmark 2015 international nuclear deal may have been a mistake in the first place, the Iranian foreign minister has said. The deal is no...
    Creepy realistic humanoid robot footage sends shivers through Twitter A video has emerged on Twitter showing a faceless, but worryingly realistic humanoid robot walk in what looks like a perfectly mundane courtyard. The ...
    Trump calls Mueller probe ‘McCarthyism at its worst’ lashing out at ‘fake’ New York Times US President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to launch another scathing attack on the New York Times and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia pro...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.