If Putin doesn't pay they won't go to Tokyo
The most awarded Russian athletes in recent years, María Laría Lasitskene (Height), Anzhélika Sídorova (Pole) and Sergei Shubenkov (110 meters hurdles), addressed this Tuesday in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin to avoid being left out of the Tokyo Olympics. "You are not indifferent neither the athletics nor the luck of the people that has linked his life with one of the most popular sports in Russia, "says the letter collected by Russian media.
The letter highlights that a year has passed since Putin will order the Russian Olympic Committee to bring order to the Russian Athletics Federation (FRA), but "the orders have not been carried out and the situation has only worsened." “Our concern is that, as there are so many sports structures in our country where true professionals work, we still do not see a concrete plan for exiting the long crisis. Therefore, we are obliged to turn to you now, "he says.
Not a Russian athlete at the Games
Lasitskene and his colleagues alert Putin that if the FRA does not pay the $ 5 million fine on July 1, "Russian athletics may be permanently expelled from the international federation." In their letter they assure that, although the Rio Games have already been lost and there are "many possibilities" that the same will happen to them with Tokyo 2021They think not only of themselves, but of the "catastrophic state" of the king of sports in Russia.
"We are on the verge of complete dissolution and liquidation of athletics (...) we trust their intervention and understanding," they conclude. Last March, World Athletics, a new name from the old IAAF, limited to ten neutral athletes that Russia could send to the Olympic, World and European Games. But put as a condition the FRA to pay $ 5 million before July 1 of this year.
A week ahead
However, with two weeks to go until the deadline expires, the Russian federation admitted that it has no money, which could leave even ten neutral athletes out of Tokyo. The FRA has requested a deferment from World Athletics, but World Athletics refused to defer payment. Lasitskene, Sídorova and Shubenkov, world champions and the most critical of the FRA, recently issued another statement in which they lashed out harshly against the new federal leadership.
"With three weeks to go by the deadline, it seems that Russian athletes will miss out on not only the current summer season but also the Tokyo Olympics," the note noted. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has punished Russia with four years of international isolation, so Russian athletes can only compete as neutrals in the Tokyo 2021 Games and the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.