The wave of sanctions against Russian sport because of the war invasion of Ukraine ordered by Vladimir Putin continues to splash also popular disciplines and famous figures.
Star and controversial junior Kamila Valieva saw the door closed on the World Figure Skating Championships along with fellow Beijing 2022 Olympic gold and silver medalists Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova.
The competition will be held at the end of March in Montpellier, France.
In a statement, the International Skating Union decided that no skaters from Russia and Belarus will be invited or allowed to participate in international ice skating competitions.
The ISU clarified that the determination followed the IOC’s recommendation to protect the integrity of the competitions and for the safety of all participants.
“The ISU Council reiterates its solidarity with all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine and our thoughts are with the entire population and country of Ukraine,” said the governing body that governs figure skating, speed skating and short track.
Valieva’s Olympic gold medal with the Russian team and her European titles are pending investigation for her doping case detected before the Olympics. In the Chinese capital the 15-year-old athlete ended up being the main focus of media attention.
As the investigations are still ongoing, Valieva was eligible to compete in the World Championships in Montpellier after the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed her to compete in the Olympic tournament despite appeals from the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Upon her return to Moscow, the young skater received welcomes and tributes as a sporting heroine. This week, Valieva received the title of Honorary Master of Sports of Russia, as published on the official website of the Ministry of Sports. The distinction was also given to other outstanding skaters in Beijing.
But today it is not the investigation into her doping that prevents Valieva from participating in international competitions, but the consequence of the Russian government’s violation of the Olympic Truce with the invasion of Ukraine.
“We have made these decisions with a lot of regret in all aspects, also for the Russian athletes. But it is the responsibility of the Russian government. We cannot fall for the propaganda coming from there saying it is a political act. These are the consequences of violating Olympic laws by their government,” IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday.
Between February 28 and March 2, Russian national teams, clubs and individual athletes were suspended in 30 sports. Several international federations have authorized the presence of athletes from that country on a “neutral” basis.
This Thursday, in a statement, the Russian Olympic Committee has advanced that it will defend the “violated right” of its athletes and national federations “in court and other civilized means.”
“Now it is important to calmly, unemotionally assess the legal aspect of the decisions that international federations literally take every hour to remove our athletes,” said Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin.
“We hope that in the interest, not only of the athletes, but of the sports world, this situation will end as soon as possible and we can return to our mission of having everyone together around sport,” Bach told a press conference with international half
Bach clarified that no direct sanctions were taken against the Russian Olympic Committee because it is not responsible for the invasion.