Russian athletes left without dreams of Rio

Russian athletes left without dreams of Rio

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) intends to uphold the suspension of the Russian national athletics team, the vice president of the Committee, John Coates, said in an interview to Reuters

He said he would be "very, very surprised" if the IOC will cancel the suspension of the Russian team.  ‘’The international federation has a right to disqualify any national federation, and I do not think that we will challenge this decision,"  RBK quotes Coates as saying

On Friday the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) unanimously decided to maintain in force the disqualification of the All-Russian Athletics Federation. If the IOC upholds this decision, the Russian team will not be able to perform at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. On Sunday June 18th a telephone conference with the IOC will be held, during which the issue of access of the Russian athletes to the Olympics will be discussed. The final decision will be made on June 21st at the summit of the IOC in Lausanne.

If some of the Russian athletes will be allowed to participate in the Olympics, they will not be able to do so under the national flag. The corresponding decision was adopted yesterday by the IAAF Council. Any Russians admitted to the Games will compete under the Olympic flag as independent athletes.

The Olympic champion in the high jump, Andrey Silnov, has already said that he would not perform under the Olympic flag if he is admitted to the Games. "For me personally this is a fundamental point. If I get to the Olympics, I will not perform under some Olympic flag or any other. I do not see any sense in participating in the Olympic Games under the Olympic rings, I am a patriot of my country, and if the Russian team does not go to Brazil, I will not go either,’’  Silnov said on Match TV

The Russian side will fight to the end so the athletes can go to the Olympics, the decision of the Board of the International Association of Athletics Federations (the IAAF) needs to be studied with lawyers and then we will consider further steps, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Alexander Zhukov, claimed.

"Yes, we will fight to the end. There is a formal decision, it is necessary to study it with the lawyers and to look at further steps. We will need to wait until June 21st, everything will be decided then,’’ RIA Novosti quotes Zhukov as saying.

If the IOC supports the IAAF council’s decision and doesn't allow ‘pure’ Russian athletes to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, disappointment in the sports organizations will result, the Olympic champion in the pole vault, Yelena Isinbayeva said.

"If the IOC supports them (the IAAF Council), I will be disappointed, in principle, in all these structures ... In general, I do not understand the meaning of their existence in this case. That is the problem! Where is its solution? Just to have decided, separated, 'we believe that you are unworthy and have done nothing', yes, we turned inside out. We have tried, at least. I guess it turned out badly, ‘’ Isinbayeva said.

"There is some policy in the decision of the Council of the IAAF not to allow Russian athletes to international competitions,’’ Elena Isinbayeva is sure.

"I can say one thing: no matter how much they may argue that there are no politics involved there, in my opinion this is pure politics. They are all there in some way depending on somebody, and obviously this decision was taken, guided by something, but not Olympic principles, not the principles of sport. This is for sure. Naturally, the situation that develops around Russia on the world stage, has not been ignored in sports either,’’ the athlete said.

"Punishing the team for any errors or for violations of the rules by individuals is unfair. So, of course, I am doubtful about the entire structure – has it protected all the rights of the ‘clean’ athletes, about which they were speaking everywhere, on every corner? Because my rights have not been protected, nor those of the other ‘clean’ Russian athletes. What kind of protection are they speaking about?  It is unclear. Therefore, this big question remains unanswered for me,’’ Yelena Isinbayeva concluded.