“Don’t Kill our Dream about Rio Olympics”
On Monday in TASS agency the press conference with top Russian athletes took place. The main topic of the press conference was the recent IAAF decision to ban Russian athletes from participating in all international events.
Yelena Isinbaeva (two times Olympic Champion, many times World Champion and World Record holder in Pole Vault), Anna Chicherova (Olympic Champion 2012, World and European Champion, National Record holder in High Jump) and Sergey Shubenkov (World Champion, many times European Champion, National Record Holder in 110m Hurdles) came to meet the journalists.
All of them expressed the same point of view that innocent athletes should not be responsible for those people who use doping.
“We followed the events and the IAAF decision very attentively. My reaction was immediate – it was shock. This decision is not fair concerning honest “clean” athletes. Why athletes like me should suffer because of mistakes of others? This situation should be analyzed individually. It was rather difficult for me to come back to sport but I received lots of support. Now I am in a very good shape and ready to go to the World indoor Championships in Portland in March, ready to win and set new records. I would like to ask IAAF to act in a fair and unbiased way. I want to compete, and Olympic Games in Rio 2016 can be a very good final for my career as an athlete. I hope that ARAF and Ministry of Sports of RF will do their best to have justice been met. I want to compete and see the flag of my country at the stadiums and for us it is of high importance to hear the National anthem of Russia when we are on the podium.”
Yelena also mentioned that she was training for the indoor season and for the World indoor Championships that will take place in March in Portland but now the way to this event is closed for her.
“I am ready for competition and my plan was to try and set the new World Record but if we are forbidden to compete internationally then we will compete with pleasure in our country for our local spectators. We are always met with joy and gratitude at the competitions in Russia and I already confirmed my participation in “Governor’s Cup” in Volgograd and then at the “Russian Winter” meeting in Moscow. Maybe I am lucky to set the new World Record at one of these starts and then IAAF will be extremely upset that this happened not at IAAF event.
I would like to address all young athletes: life is a boomerang, you are cheating today and tomorrow it will come back to you. To win without doping is possible and right. Mr. Pound said that he feels sorry that I am a “victim” of this so-called doping system and I want to reply to him that there is no need to feel sorry for me because I am out of this doping system. “We are not involved in that and we are not guilty”, - added double Olympic champion.
“Now I am overwhelmed with emotions. I am in a situation when I do not believe that all these events are real and not in a film. There are so many questions, and resentment has no bounds. None of us is guilty because some other athletes took the wrong way in sports and it is unfair to close the road for all. The day before there was an emergency meeting of the ARAF Council at which the plan of finding solution to this problem was discussed. The Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko assured us that there are several ways to solve the problem. And I really hope that we will be able to compete at the Olympic Games.”
“The history of my family might be going the second round as my mother Natalya Shubenkova, who was the leading USSR combined event athlete and 5 times National Champion, was not allowed to go to the Olympic Games 1984 in Los Angeles. She had to stay at home because of the political situation in the world. And now we see that the situation is rather alike – some people say that a certain athlete has to stay at home. What have I done personally that I am not allowed to compete internationally including Rio? The situation is abnormal but I still hope that the positive solution will be found. ButnowIamveryangry. The decision of IAAF is unprecedented. To put it simple I am punished for nothing.”
It was also announced at the press conference that all top Russian athletes signed a special letter to IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
The letter runs: “Amongst those who signed this letter there are athletes who started their sports career in 1999 and are now training for their 4th or even 5th Olympics. And there are very young athletes who already won their first titles and are now training for their 1st Olympic Games.
We cannot imagine our life without athletics. We live with the possibility to train and compete with the best world athletes, with the dreams to compete in Rio Olympics.
We ask you not to kill our dream!”