The Russian Maria Lasitskenetriple high jump world champion, criticized the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the German Thomas Bachfor supporting the suspension of Russian athletes for political reasons due to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.
“I’m not sure you know me, because, based on your latest statements and decisions, you’re closer to politics than athletes and professional sport in general”he said in an open letter published by the Russian portal Match! TV.
The Russian athlete accused Bach of “blinking” when Sebastian Coe vetoed his participation in the 2016 Olympics “because I was born in Russia,” he said.
“In the last seven years, in about four I have not had the opportunity to participate in international competitions., despite the fact that there were no personal complaints against me. Except for one … the International Athletics Federation takes my Russian passport at every opportunity. “
“And you allowed it. Now they’re doing it again, but this time you’re directly inciting”said.
The Russian athlete pointed out that he feels great regret for his colleagues in Ukraine and assured: “None of this should have happened and no argument would have convinced me otherwise.”
But according to him, Bach chose not to delve into the truth of how “athletes living in Russia think and suffer from what is happening in Ukraine.”
“If you really care about the fate of athletes, you won’t force them to express themselves about it. and will try to seek world unity through sport. But you chose the simplest solution: ban everyone based on their citizenship. “
Lasitskene described the rationale that Russian athletes were banned for security reasons as a lie and argued that “the public does not love athletes because of their nationality, but because of what they display in competitions”, and proposed to stop using all flags in contests.
The athlete criticized the suspension of Russian athletes, pointing out that it “did not stop the war, but instead unleashed a new one, around the sport, that was impossible to stop.”
“I have no doubt that you will not have the courage and dignity to remove the ban on Russian athletes.. That means recognizing that all these months have violated the IOC Charter and that the laws of international federations have become a dead letter, ”he declared.
The Russian champion demanded that Bach stop avoiding his responsibility for what is happening in world sport with “alleged concerns about Russian athletes.”
“It’s not appropriate for an IOC president to do this kind of thing”he concludes.
Source: La Verdad