Yelena Isinbayeva is an icon of world sport. The Olympic champion, world and European champion, winner of the most prestigious competitions, does not hide her sympathy for Vladimir Putin. With reciprocity. However, he is still a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
PAP / EPA / PAP / EPA and Getty Images / Jelena Isinbayeva have supported Vladimir Putin’s policies for years. The war in Ukraine changed nothing.
The friendship between Vladimir Putin and Yelena Isinbayeva has been high for years. He – the most important person in Russia, she – a sports legend, multiple champion, loved by millions of fans. He warms the image by her side, she enjoys many privileges (among which she found a place in the Competition Commission of the International Olympic Committee). Perfect layout. Will last for many years.
On February 24, 2022, the world changed. The war Putin started in Ukraine resulted in Russia’s isolation in the international arena. Not only in politics and economics, but also in sports. The players were kicked out of the play-off games for participating in the World Cup, the volleyball players lost the right to host the World Cup, and the hockey players did not go to the most important tournament in the world. In general, the world decided to throw Russian sports on cars.
The athletes are out, the activists are doing well
In general… Because when we look at individual sports federations, it is no longer so rosy. We recently wrote about Igor Makarov, who is still a member of the governing bodies of the International Cycling Union (UCI). And the UCI spokesman and Agata Lang, who sits next to the Russian activist on the executive committee of the federation, took a deep breath, did not comment on the scandalous situation (you can read more HERE >>†
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At the International Boxing Association (IBA), it’s even worse. Well, here the president was elected (for a second term) Umar Kremlin (we wrote about it HERE >>† The Russian’s election to such an exposed position was overshadowed by the scandal. The Kremlin has never hidden sympathy for Putin: he even persuaded Oleksandr Usyk to change his citizenship, he also traveled to occupied Crimea for boxing matches.
Thomas Bach – president of the International Olympic Committee – also arouses a lot of controversy. On the one hand, it calls for a boycott of Russian players, suspension of matches, then invites you to the 139th meeting of the IOC (currently held – May 18-20 – in Lausanne) with the aforementioned Isinbayeva and Shamil Tarishchev.
Bach and Putin
How does the IOC explain this? – Isinbayeva and Tarpiszczew are not deputies from Russia. Instead, they were selected by the international community and delegated to their country to be ambassadors of Olympism, said committee spokesman Mark Adams.
Adams’ words failed to convince the international community. They were seen as an inept attempt to remove the stain. On the one hand, Bach urges the federations to steer a hard course against Russia, and then he does nothing in the organization he directs to adopt this course.
Bach met Putin many times. He rewarded him many times with occasional awards. He has repeatedly emphasized that the Russian president is a great friend of world sport.
“The torturer and the victim cannot be together”
Such behavior is met with harsh reactions from Polish sports activists. Already at the beginning of the war, the heads of the main sports associations in our country – together with Sports Minister Kamil Bortniczuk – wrote to world organizations calling for the immediate expulsion (or at least suspension) of Russians from the structures.
He did this, among others, The Polish Football Association, the Polish Volleyball Federation, the Polish Cycling Federation and the Polish Olympic Committee. He maintains the last sentence. Especially since Isinbayeva and Tarishchev were allowed to meet in the IOC.
“Poland and the Polish Olympic Committee strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and violations of international law, rules and Olympic values. The position of the Polish Olympic Committee is in line with that of the Minister of Sports and Tourism – Russian activists and athletes should be suspended , and the same sports organizations “- we heard in the Communications Office of the Polish Olympic Committee.
What concretely can be done about this? “The position of the Polish Olympic Committee is unequivocal and has been expressed publicly many times – including at the meetings of the International and European Olympic Movement” – argues the POC.
The Polish appeal has apparently not reached Bach yet. The head of the World Olympism Championship still insists that cooperation with Russian activists is possible. Even those who have supported Putin for years and who currently have no objection to the genocide in Ukraine.
Marek Bobakowski, journalist from WP SportoweFakty
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Jelena Isinbayeva Vladimir Putin Thomas Bach Shamil Tarpiszczew IOC Athletics Russia