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“I definitely didn’t want to take the medal away from him.” Analysis of the scandalous end of the 2023 Ski Championship

Date: April 17, 2024 Time: 21:11:51

The results of the men’s classic sprint of the Russian summer championship among cross-country skiers, which is held in Malinovka, were approved only after considering the protest. The final race was won by the representative of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Andrei Kuznetsov, but the athlete from Tatarstan Sergei Ardashev was finally declared the winner. The fact is that the jury punished Kuznetsov for interfering with his opponent in the final climb.

Talks about the men’s final and its final results are still ongoing. “Championship” contacted the direct participants in the controversial episode and learned their opinion about what happened.

What happened in the men’s sprint at the 2023 Summer Championships?

The Russian skier was deprived of gold due to an overly aggressive attack on the last climb

“I am persistently trying to establish contact and discuss the episode, but he ignores me.”

First, a few words from Sergei Ardashev, who was finally recognized as the winner of the classic sprint.

—How did you assess the situation in the last climb? Did you feel that Andrey was putting pressure on you? — Andrey and I came out of the descent one after the other and got to work. I understood that it was necessary to attack on the flat to take an advantageous position on the climb. I felt like I was “eating” Andrey with every meter, standing on the left, after which he abruptly moved towards me as we walked almost parallel. There was contact, I had to pass before a movement simultaneous with a taxi and I lost speed. Then I started again, but for the second time they blocked me on the climb, I completely lost my rhythm and could not compete on equal terms at the finish line.

— Did you feel like filing a protest after the finish line? — After finishing, I drove up to Andrey and asked him: “Why did you do this?”, to which I immediately received the answer: “I didn’t see you.” To be honest, I found this explanation quite strange.

—Who started the protest? Did you hear how the Krasnoyarsk team accused the senior coach of the national team, Yegor Sorin, that it was he who started the mess? — Egor Vladimirovich, the management and coaching staff of the Tatarstan national team decided to file a protest even before talking to me, because they had no doubt that the rules had been violated. They understood and saw that I was willing to impose a fair fight for the gold, even if it were not due to my opponent’s interference.

Sergei Ardashev

Photo: RIA Novosti

—Have they called the jury? What did you say? “I was not called to the jury because I did not need to explain my actions. I was present when Andrey communicated with the judges, since we were assigned to the same doping officer, we had to pass doping tests. I didn’t hear any clear explanation other than “I didn’t see it.” As I understand it, the judges were not satisfied with them either.

— The final verdict: do you think it’s fair? — Andrey was very good that day. I think he deserved a medal. But he himself did not behave very well on the last climb, so the judges accused him of obstruction and punishment.

—Did you talk to Andrey Kuznetsov about what happened? “Andrey and I have been in close contact for a long time. In my head I was prepared to withdraw my protest if we had spoken to him, and he apologized immediately after finishing. He definitely didn’t want to take the medal from him. For the second day, I have been persistently trying to establish contact and discuss the episode, but, unfortunately, he ignores me. I’ll be honest, I’m very disappointed with how the situation turned out.

– How would you see the whole situation if you changed places? Would you react the same way? —For my part, I clearly understand that there is a race track and that there is life beyond it. I definitely wouldn’t transfer work moments to personal ones.

— Have you heard about how “the judges gave in to the collection” or something similar? “I understand that the incident caused a lot of controversy and discussion in the ski community. I have not heard such conversations, but if such a thing happened, it would be very sad. We all know each other and, in order not to spread rumors and speculation, it is better to talk personally about what happened between us.

“And for what, what was there?” – “Yes, I pinched him a little in the contact fight” – “Kapets”

Let us now turn to Andrey Kuznetsov’s point of view.

—How did you assess the situation on the last climb, as you saw it with your own eyes? What kind of displacement was this, did the roller drive? – No, the roller did not move. On that stretch of the route everyone was going left and I went left. I didn’t see anyone on the left because I was ahead. In the video recordings it is clear that I was ahead. As I started to move, Sergei yelled at me that he was close and I backed away. I did not change the trajectory further, I did not move to the left. On the contrary, it was Sergei who began to move slightly to the right, in my direction, and ran almost along the poles. However, this did not affect the result in any way, I moved three meters away from him.

—When you found out that the Tatarstan team filed a protest, were you surprised? In fact, in the semi-finals, in a more obvious situation, when Fedor Nazarov broke Denis Filimonov’s stick, there were no protests. – Of course, I was very surprised and then I thought that if the Russian team interferes now, I will no longer win.

— Representatives of the regions compete in the national championship, not the national team. — Regional teams file protests, but decide… I won’t talk about how it all happened, but I understand how it happened. After the finish line they told me that the Tatarstan team filed a protest.

— The Krasnoyarsk team named the head coach of the Russian national team, Yegor Sorin, as the initiator of the protest. – Yes, Yegor Vladimirovich immediately after finishing approached me with complaints – they say, what am I doing, Seryoga has already overtaken me, and I kind of bumped into him, there was contact. But there was no contact. Let’s say I broke the rules by creating a small disturbance, even though I don’t agree with it. The maximum penalty for this is a yellow card. If it was the finish line and I blocked the hallway for Sergei, it would be a different matter. And then you still have to run and run to the finish line.

—The protest was considered by the jury. Didn’t you have a positive decision for you? — I entered the box where we changed clothes. There was Vanya Bezmaternykh, who finished third. I told her: “Vanya, I congratulate you on your money. A protest was filed against me, I know how it will all end.” He was surprised: “Why, what was there?” – “Yeah, I pinched him a little in contact wrestling” – “Fuck.”

– So what did you tell the judges? — Yes, 15-20 minutes after I found out that a protest had been filed. They showed me a video and said that I interfered with an opponent who was passing me. I explained to him that he was in front and I didn’t see Sergei, who was running on the left. I will not reproduce verbatim what they told me, but it referred to a new point in the regulations that prohibits hindering a person who is overtaking. But Sergei had not passed me yet, he was behind me. They told me there was an infraction on my part and now they will decide whether to disqualify me or demote me to sixth place.

—So, after speaking with the jury, did you already know that they had deprived you of the gold medal? – Yes. This was not even discussed. It’s a shame that this happened at the Russian Championship.

Andrei Kuznetsov

Photo: RIA Novosti

—Did you not speak to Sergei about this incident? – No. I only talked about it with my team; This punishment is too severe, I will definitely not be deprived of a medal for this. And he didn’t talk to anyone else. And I couldn’t leave until I passed the anti-doping control. But I didn’t go to the award ceremony anymore.

– But wouldn’t you like to talk calmly with him about what happened? “I heard his opinion after the finish line. He asked me why I pressured him.

— If the situation were reversed, would you be in Sergei’s place, would he be in yours? —I would not present any protest 100 percent. No matter how many sprints I ran, no matter how many times they pinned me down and didn’t let me pass, there were no protests on my part. What is the point of this?

— Have emotions calmed down a bit now or will they remain a thorn for a long time? —I’ve calmed down a little. I try not to think about it, but it’s hard.

Why is the Russian summer championship being held without the main stars?

“Athletes need to be protected.” The Russian Summer Championship will be held without Bolshunov and Ustyugov

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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