“He is a very patriotic person.” Why fencer Bida left the Russian Federation for the USA Fencer Bida’s mother said that her son tried to leave the Russian Guard but was rejected 12/28/2023, 17:56

The story of Russian spouses, fencers Sergei and Violetta Bida, who were put on the wanted list by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and their journey to the USA continues to grow in detail.

Sergei Bida, mother of the famous former fencer Elena Grishina, who won a silver medal at the world championships in the team foil twice during her career, said that her son flew to the USA for surgery and that he did not consider changing his citizenship and joining the USA team. He planned to “probably come back” following surgery abroad.

It became known for sure after their performance at the US Championship, without the permission of the Russian side, that a criminal case was opened against the athletes.

Additionally, the coach of the Russian national epee team, Alexander Glazunov, was fired due to “athletes from his team fleeing to the USA”. This formulation was presented by the Russian Fencing Federation (RFF). At the same time, the specialist’s contract already expires in December.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs database does not indicate the reason for the search for the Bida spouses, but information immediately appeared in the press that they were persecuted for unauthorized renunciation of service in the ranks of the Russian Guard (Sergey) and the Armed Forces. (Violetta). Telegram channel shooting reportedIt is stated that the athletes face up to ten years in prison.

Sergei Bida belonged to the Dynamo sports community and is still a lieutenant of the Russian Guard, and Violetta belonged to CSKA and is an employee of the Russian Ministry of Defense. At the same time, the woman was fired from CSKA in October (after leaving for America), but her status as a military personnel is officially unknown.

The athlete’s mother categorically opposed the statement of escape and emphasized that Sergei Bida had official permission to leave, accepted by both the FRF and the Ministry of Defense.

“He had permission to go abroad from the Ministry of Sports. The relevant lists were compiled by the head coach of the Russian national team Ilgar Mamedov. Since there were other fencers there, he sent them to the Russian Guard, among other things. The Department of Defense had a similar list. They were signed there,” RT Grishina reports.

He emphasized that Bida performed at the US Championship only as a representative of his sports club, the Fencing Masters Academy from the city of San Jose, and currently works as a coach.

Boris Grishin, grandfather of Sergei Bida, who was the USSR Honored Master of Sports in water polo and won silver and bronze medals in this sport at the Summer Olympics, also touched upon this situation. According to him, the main reason for Sergei’s move to the United States was not the operation, but the job offer.

“Sergey is a very patriotic person and would not take such a step,” Grishin told RT. “His friends opened a large fencing academy in California, and after he completed his career, they invited him to work with the boys at their club.”

Boris Grishin also emphasized that Sergei does not plan to play for the US team.

Contrary to these words before reportedIt is claimed that Sergei and Violetta Bida, who went to the United States in the summer, now live there permanently, work as fencing coaches and plan to continue their sports careers and enter the US national team.

Violetta is currently on maternity leave, but Sergei competed in the recent US Fencing Championships and won the gold medal in the epee tournament.

Inside the Games reportedHe said the US Fencing Federation is not opposed to allowing athletes to participate in tournaments and represent their national teams if they sign a letter condemning the special military operation in Ukraine.

However, after information appeared about the search for athletes for unauthorized departure from service, additional details became clear: it turned out that Violetta Bida was fired from CSKA in October. This was stated in a comment to RIA Novosti by CSKA Deputy Head for Military-Political Studies Svetlana Ishmuratova.

Therefore, it seems unlikely that Violetta is currently an active military service member and would be held criminally liable for “abandoning duty.”

It also became known that Sergei and Violetta Bida were expelled from the Russian fencing team in June this year.

This was noted for the purpose of making changes to the list of candidates for the Russian fencing team published on the official website of the Ministry of Sports of Russia.

Changes in the composition of the national team were approved by Russian Deputy Minister of Sports Alexei Morozov and also signed by the President of the Russian Fencing Federation (RFF) Ilgar Mamedov.

Therefore, it remains unclear at this time whether the athletes will be penalized for their departure.

However, Sergei Bida had already stated that he did not intend to return to Russia, as he “did not want to have anything to do with politics in general and Russian politics in particular.” The athlete aims to go to the Summer Olympics in Paris as part of the US team (although he does not yet have citizenship).

What are you thinking?

Elena Grishina, mother of Russian fencer Sergei Bida, said her son tried several times to resign from the Russian Guard but was rejected. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs put him on the wanted list the day before as part of a criminal complaint. The media reported that this was because Warrant Officer Bida “left duty without permission”. However, Grishina emphasized that the athlete had permission to leave Russia and flew abroad only to undergo surgery. The woman also assured that her son does not plan to play for the US national team. Details are in the socialbites.ca article.

Source: Gazeta


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