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Olympic chief snubbed my plea, says Russian champion – RT Sport News

Mariya Lasitskene revealed that she received no response from Thomas Bach or his organization

Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist Mariya Lasitskene has said her open letter angry at the bans imposed on her country has not received a response from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

The three-time world high jump champion launched a scathing attack on Bach last week and accused him of hypocrisy while ignoring the interests of Russian athletes like her who are excluded from international events.

This is due to sports federations acting on a recommendation made by the IOC in February to sanction Russian and Belarusian athletes due to the military operation in Ukraine.

Speaking to Russian reporters on Monday, Lasitskene said there was no response to her open letter, but she also “had no doubt there wouldn’t be one.”

“The letter was written not to forget the athletes who are in Russia, not to blame sport. [For them] let’s remember. This subject is very difficult for me”, she added when asked about the motivation behind writing the correspondence.

Then reminded that there had nevertheless been a reaction to her letter in the comments section of her social media posts, the 29-year-old claimed to have “immediately disconnected” of everything after the letter was published on Instagram.

“I didn’t read anything, but I expected the reaction to be like that”, she confessed.

Since the IOC’s recommendation to ban Russian athletes from international sports at the end of February, its president, Bach, has tried to justify the organisation’s position by claiming that such sanctions are aimed at Russian leaders, whom he accuses of having violates the Olympic truce.

Bach also claimed that Russian athletes were partly banned for their own safety.

In her open letter, however, Lasitskene questioned that attitude and noted that current developments and Russia’s prior doping scandal have prevented her from participating in events through no fault of her own.

“In the past seven years, I have not been able to participate in international competitions for about four years in total”, she underlined, emphasizing that she remembered “very good” how Bach became a “blind eye” to the fact that Sebastian Coe, member of the IOC, did not allow him to perform at the 2016 Olympics in Rio “simply because” she was born in Russia.

Olympic chief snubbed my plea, says Russian champion – RT Sport News

Lasitskene further accused Bach of not caring about the plight of the athletes by demanding that they speak openly about Russia’s activities and instead choosing the simpler option of banning them because of their nationality.

Citing the example of Russian tennis players being able to participate in international competitions where they have not received security threats, she doubts that Bach has the “courage and dignity” lift the sanctions.

Lasitskene came to this conclusion because such an act would supposedly force Bach to admit that he violated the IOC Charter.

The IOC is not the only body to have felt its anger as Lasitskene has also clashed with the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF), accusing them of not doing enough to resolve the plight of their athletes affected by the suspensions.


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