“Everything is terrible”: ISU fires Russian skaters and spares millions to support Ukrainians

The ISU Council held an online meeting where they discussed the situation in Ukraine and the measures to be taken regarding Russian athletes in this regard.

ISU allocates 15.5 million rubles for figure skating in Ukraine

The International Union said that it closely followed the events in Ukraine and “condemns the Russian special operations in Ukraine in the strongest terms” (the wording has been changed in accordance with the requirements of Roskomnadzor).

Moreover notification The ISU reportedly allocated 200 thousand Swiss francs (about 15.5 million rubles) to “support the Ukrainian Skating Federation in this tragic situation.”

Part of this money will go to the member states of the ISU, which agreed to house the Ukrainian skaters who fled their country after the start of hostilities.

It is assumed that the money will be used to help these athletes pursue their careers in figure skating.

ISU wants to impose sanctions on Russians

The ISU decided to add a new clause on possible restrictive measures against certain countries in emergencies, and the majority of the organization’s members supported the initiative, according to a press release.

The new clause number 17 is called “Other Protective Measures” and is as follows:

“Events of an exceptional nature beyond the control of the ISU (for example, terrorism, riot, civil unrest, war (whether officially declared or not), strike, nuclear or chemical contamination, epidemic, etc. – hereinafter referred to as and its regular operation (as well as the organization of events, competitions, etc.) as an “extraordinary event”), the ISU Council has the right to decide on the introduction of exceptional protective measures aimed at: To ensure that its activities are carried out in a safe, peaceful and orderly manner.

Protective measures may include, but are not limited to, the temporary suspension of:

a) ISU membership of countries that instigated, contributed to, or were in any way involved in the “extraordinary event”;

b) the rights of persons associated with ISU members referred to in the previous paragraph;

c) other measures that ISU deems appropriate in light of the nature and circumstances of the “extraordinary event”.

Protective measures will be taken regardless of any violation of the above-mentioned countries regarding their obligations under the ISU Charter or other rules.”

Therefore, any figure skating federation may be disenfranchised and its athletes suspended from competition if the country they represent is involved in an “emergency” situation. In this case, the ISU can understand everything, because the list of such events in paragraph 17 is very vague and in no way limited – it ends with a meaningful “etc”.

Also, the measures may not be limited to exclusion from competitions – they can be “any”, the main thing is that the ISU considers them “appropriate”.

Finally, as discussed later in the paragraph, these measures can take as long as you want:

“Protections will be retained for as long as circumstances reasonably require (as originally enacted or as may be further modified from time to time).”

A little consolation is added with just the last words:

“Measures should be terminated – in whole or in part – as soon as possible, taking into account the changing circumstances that led to their implementation. If any measures are still taken when the time comes for the next ISU congress, that congress should discuss them and decide whether to take them in the future.”

Rules not yet adopted

However, paragraph 17 has not yet been formally included in the ISU statute. It must be approved at the next congress in June 2022. Alexey Kravtsov, President of the Russian Skating Union, told Match TV:

“Amendments to the previously mentioned rules are being submitted to the ISU congress, all important decisions will be taken at the congress in early June.

In order for the bylaw changes to be accepted, 80% of those present at the congress must vote. We have the right to attend the congress, Russian representatives will go to it,” he said.

Skaters suspended, competitions in Russia canceled

Although paragraph 17 has not yet officially entered into force, the ISU has already drawn up sanctions against the Russians based on the new rules.

“In order to preserve the integrity of international competitions, to ensure the safety of all participants in tournaments, as well as for ISU to develop sport on the basis of friendship and mutual understanding, the ISU Council has decided on the following security measures:

a) Until further notice, all athletes who are members of the Russian Ice Skating Union and the Russian Figure Skating Federation cannot be invited or allowed to participate in international competitions, including ISU tournaments and other events.

The same is true for officials. This applies to speed skating, short track, figure skating (single and pair skating, ice dancing and synchronized skating).

b) No international competitions will be held in Russia until further notice. As a result, the Grand Prix stage of the 2022/23 Rostelecom Cup season will be cancelled.”

Therefore, the Russian figure skating has definitely isolated itself for the next season (unless the situation on the other front suddenly changes dramatically).

Russian officials have not yet been removed from the ISU congress, but most likely

The International Skating Union said in a press release that “more than 20 ISU members” had requested Russia to remove delegates from the 2022 convention. Then the world wouldn’t have the right to vote on any figure skating-related issue.

In addition, these “more than 20 members of the ISU” called for a ban on the election of delegates from Russia to any position in the organization. However, the union did not take such measures.

“Given the fundamental rights of ISU members as set out in the organizational charter and Swiss law, the ISU requires that the interests of all ISU members be respected and

Given the need to ensure the legitimacy of the upcoming 2022 convention, the council has concluded that no such decision will be made at this time. This issue will be submitted to the votes of ISU members at the next congress.

“Over 20 members” although there are about 90 members in total – that’s not even close to the majority. Given that all possible “protective measures” were discussed in the poll among ISU members, this option most likely did not receive the required vote.

Russia’s response to impending sanctions

Of course, the new communiqué of the ISU was received negatively in Russia.

“We are once again deeply disappointed with the position and actions of the International Skating Union regarding Russian skaters and our federation. We will continue to do everything we can to protect the rights and interests of Russian athletes and all Russian figure skaters as a whole,” the Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR) said in a statement.

Well-known coach Alexander Zhulin said that everything was just “terrible”.

“It was pointless to wait for someone else. Everything is bad. It is unclear what to do. The situation is extremely dire. There is only one alternative left – the Armenian championship.

But compared to world championships, this is of course ridiculous.

The consequences of such a decision would be dire. This will affect all figure skating. World championships without Russian athletes is a pathetic sight. But now there is a general policy of destroying Russia in this way, there is no time for figure skating, ”says Sport24, quoting Zhulin.

Tatyana Tarasova said that the International Union is ruining the lives of Russian skaters:

“The ISU decision is real stupidity and desperation. I am really sad. I regret that our skaters are missing out on the opportunity to perform. ISU is disrupting the fate of the world’s most talented boys and girls.

Such unfair decisions are killing the Russian figure skating school. Domestic competitions will never be able to make up for international competitions.”

Also in the Metaratings comment, Tarasova described the members of the ISU as “sadists” and “stupid people”.

There were also more measured interpretations. Therefore, Ilya Averbukh noted that the high level of figure skating in Russia will allow to organize high-quality domestic tournaments and avoid spoilage.

“It’s a pity, but in the current environment of pressure on Russian sports, this was an expected decision. The Russian Cup has internal tournaments and stages – we will prepare and compete.

We are at a very high level in the figure skating world, so we can even compete with each other and the level will not suffer, ”says RBC Sport Averbukh.

Due to the events in Ukraine, the International Skating Union (ISU) has created a new rule for its charter, where it can impose any sanctions on Russia for any period of time. Now the union has officially canceled the Russian stage of the Grand Prix in figure skating and banned domestic figure skaters from participating in international tournaments. In addition, ISU has set aside 15.5 million rubles to help Ukrainian athletes continue their careers.

Source: Gazeta


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