Russian gymnasts vow never to compete internationally without flag, anthem — coach

  BEIJING: Going forward, Russia’s national rhythmic gymnastics team refuses to participate in international competition without flying the ...

 


BEIJING: Going forward, Russia’s national rhythmic gymnastics team refuses to participate in international competition without flying the colors of the national flag and to the tune of the national anthem, Irina Viner, the president of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, told TASS on Monday.

"We have been provided with only a single spot [competing] in Europe to qualify for the [2024 Paris] Olympics," Viner, who also serves as the head coach of the Russian national rhythmic gymnastics team, said.

"But, why would we need all of this? No flag, no anthem, no communication, no supporting fans, wearing specially-designated uniforms and participating in competitions to particular rhythmic gymnastics musical themes," she continued.

The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be hosted by the French capital of Paris between July 26 and August 11.

"It would be a total disgrace if we [Russia] go there," Viner stated. "I believe it would be an embarrassment for Russia. Russia’s rhythmic gymnastics [national team] will definitely not participate, and we will never again perform without the Russian flag and anthem."

The General Assembly of European Gymnastics voted on December 1 not to let Russian and Belarusian athletes back into its events next year stating officially: "The General Assembly of European Gymnastics has voted against allowing athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus to return to official European Gymnastics competitions from 1 January 2024 onwards, thus not following the FIG decision."

Russian and Belarusian gymnasts have been barred from international competition since March 2022 over the situation in Ukraine. In July 2023, the Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) allowed athletes from Russia and Belarus to take part in the international events under a neutral status starting from January 1, 2024.

On November 10, the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) published a list of criteria for Russian athletes to take part in competitions supervised by the federation.

According to the published FIG criteria, only individual athletes will be allowed to compete internationally. Representatives of Russia and Belarus are prohibited from displaying any national symbols, or any symbols of their national gymnastics federations or National Olympic Committees.

Permission to participate in sanctioned events will be granted only to those athletes who have not expressed support for the special military operation in Ukraine (including expressing approval for Russia’s military operation on social media platforms through reposts or forwarded messages) and who are not affiliated with the armed forces or national security agencies.

Heads of national delegations, coaches, doctors and physiotherapists may also be allowed to participate. Russian and Belarusian state officials cannot be invited or accredited for any event supervised by the FIG and they also cannot participate as accompanying personnel.

On December 8, the IOC allowed Russians and Belarusians to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris under a neutral status. The IOC reported that athletes from Russia and Belarus would not be allowed to participate in any team events.

Participation in the Olympics will also be denied to those who actively support hostilities. Individuals associated with the army or national security organizations will not be allowed to compete in the Olympics. Officials will not be accredited to the competition. The display of official symbols of Russia and Belarus will be prohibited.

IOC sanctions against Russia, Belarus

On February 28, 2022, the International Olympic Committee issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.

Following the IOC’s recommendations in late February 2022, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.

In late March, 2023, the IOC recommended to permit individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to take part in international sports tournaments, but only under certain conditions. Specifically, athletes from the two countries should not be "actively supporting" Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine and must compete under a neutral status. Russia and Belarus were also banned from participating in international team events.

On July 26, 2023, the IOC extended invitations to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris to 203 National Olympic Committees. Russia and Belarus did not receive invitations. The IOC explained later that there was no deadline regarding the issue of Russian and Belarusian athletes’ participation.


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Local Glob: Russian gymnasts vow never to compete internationally without flag, anthem — coach
Russian gymnasts vow never to compete internationally without flag, anthem — coach
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