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Russian Olympic champion accuses IOC chief of creating ‘new war’

Russian Olympic high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene on Thursday accused IOC President Thomas Bach of creating a “new war” by recommending that Russian athletes be banned from international competitions.

After February’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee recommended a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, a motion most federations followed.

“You say you made that decision for our safety, but that’s not true. Russian tennis players playing all over the world prove it. Fans love athletes for the show they put on, not their nationality.”

Lasitskene wrote in an open letter posted to Instagram in both English and Russian.

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RUSSIAN OLYMPIC CHAMPION

“In the high jump, my main competitors are Ukrainians. I don’t know how to look them in the eye or what to say to them. They and their families experience what no human should experience.

“Your decision did not end the war, but created a new one in and around sport that is impossible to contain.”

“I suspect you will have neither the courage nor the dignity to end sanctions against Russian athletes.”

The three-time world champion added:

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In recent years, Lasitskene has been an outspoken critic of her own national sports federations, which have been mired in scandals.

She and her track and field teammates were banned from participating in the Rio 2016 Olympics when Russia was fined for its state-sponsored doping.

Russia’s soccer team was kicked out of the World Cup this year due to the invasion, while Russian tennis players were banned from Wimbledon.

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© Agence France-Presse

Russian Olympic champion accuses IOC chief of creating ‘new war’

Source link Russian Olympic champion accuses IOC chief of creating ‘new war’

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