“Why not cheese in a mousetrap?” The Russians refused to sign the humiliating statement.
Julia Sidorova May 22, 2023, 17:15 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Weightlifters lost their last chance to go to the Paris Olympics. But the principles were not abandoned.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) listened to the recommendations of the IOC and invited Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Cuban Grand Prix in a neutral state. But he put forward a number of conditions that turned out to be unacceptable for the Russian team. Because of this, our team, most likely, lost the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris.
To be admitted to the competition, athletes and all support staff with Russian and Belarusian passports had to pass an individual check. In other words, fill out a statement that proves that you currently have no connection with the structures that provide support in carrying out the JEE. The Russians could also compete only in a gray uniform without symbols.
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The International Federation stressed that this decision represents the best balance between maintaining an unchanged position regarding solidarity with Ukraine and the need to maintain the opportunity for all neutral athletes to play sports, regardless of their nationality.
The IWF gave Russian and Belarusian weightlifters extremely limited time to familiarize themselves with the statement, requiring them to submit already signed documents. The Belarusians have signed everything and will send 13 athletes to Havana in early June. The Russians refused to sign the document.
“Not a single Russian weightlifter has signed a humiliating statement with discriminatory admission criteria for IWF competitions. Almost two months after the IOC “recommendations”, the IWF executive committee decided to allow Russians and Belarusians to participate in tournaments in a neutral status, but setting only for us new, special and unfair criteria for “eligibility” and calling them “fair” explained the president of the Russian Weightlifting Federation, Maxim Agapitov.
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It also noted that “the obligation to express political opinions by signing or refusing to sign certain statements is a violation of the principle of equality and the prohibition of discrimination on political grounds. Why not cheese in a mousetrap?
Maxim Agapitov, President of the FTA
Photo: RIA Novosti
In order for our athletes to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games, they must compete in at least three qualifying competitions. This list includes the 2022 World Championship, the 2023 European Championship, two Grand Prix events, the 2024 European Championship.
As you know, the Russians have already missed the World Cup – 2022 and Euro – 2023. This means that the refusal to participate in the Havana tournament, which will take place from June 8 to 18, can be decisive. Russian weightlifters will miss the third of five qualifying tournaments.
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