British Indian Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell, had he seen the realities of modern sports, he would have eaten his legendary works “Animal Farm” and “1984” without even salt. Because the reality of 2021 is cooler than any dystopia.
As you know, by the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which partially satisfied the claim of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Russian athletes are deprived of the right to compete under the national flag at the Olympics and World Championships for the period until December 16, 2022.
Once again, I do not want to indulge in reasoning on the topic of how justified this punishment is – everyone will remain unconvinced. In fact, the decision came into force, and Russian athletes are getting used to living in new conditions. Although for some it is no longer new.
Russian luge Roman Repilov, our first world champion under sanctions, in an interview with TASS told about the taste of such a victory: “This RLF, instead of the inscription“ Russia ”is infuriating … The awards ceremony took place, and it was very unpleasant when not our anthem sounded and hung not our flag. Unfortunately, all this is already becoming a habit, because at the Olympics in South Korea two years ago we also played in neutral status. Now everything is not so sensitive. I must admit that I don’t feel any special emotions after the victory. I don’t even have the strength to rejoice. “
On February 10, 2021, the world championship starts in one of the most distressing, in terms of doping claims, sport – biathlon.
In connection with the imposed sanctions, Russian athletes will compete in new equipment, without specifying their nationality. A message on the official page of the Russian Biathlon Union on Twitter says: “In accordance with the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the new equipment lacks state symbols of Russia, and the SBR logo is made in monochrome.”
“We are the most dopers”
Of course, in case of victories of the Russians, the Russian flag will not be raised and the anthem of our country will not sound. And, of course, Russians are not allowed to finish with the national flag, for this is punished.
But it turns out that this is not all. According to TASS, citing the International Biathlon Union, during the World Championship, Russian athletes and coaches were advised not to publish the image of the country’s state symbols on social networks. Otherwise, our representatives may receive a warning.
What lies behind the “warning” is not fully understood. But hypothetically, one can imagine a situation when a Russian athlete is deprived of an award, saying: “This is for you for having posted the flag!”
There were also those in Russia who supported this decision. Moreover, the unanimity was shown by the figures who yesterday sorted out relations among themselves – the four-time Olympic champion in biathlon Alexander Tikhonov and commentator Dmitry Guberniev…
Tikhonov told Sport24: “I think we deserve it. Why be surprised? Personal integrity could be talked about with decency and the absence of doping. And we have both over the edge. So I would punish even more severely, we are the most dopers. What more do we want if we have already been kicked out of the International Biathlon Union? We cannot pay off debts, the Norwegians called our commentator stupid and uncouth ”.
Guberniev put it this way: “Do we have any choice? … Now we can wave our fists, make a demonstration – will this change something? Not. In order not to get into such a situation in the future, you need not to eat up doping, strengthen your position in the international arena, restore the status of the RBU, and build up your economic muscles. So that you can handle the situation. And we have no choice now. ”
Sanctions without borders
Let’s leave Tikhonov and Guberniev to repent of their own and others’ sins, and think about the following question: what does social networks have to do with it?
The 2021 Biathlon World Championship is held in Slovenian Pokljuka, not the Internet. Athletes’ accounts have no connection to the world championship. That is, if a fan becomes interested in what this or that participant writes during the competition, he will have to look for the corresponding page himself.
But it turns out that the International Biathlon Union believes that it has the right to censor what Russian athletes and coaches publish. And, we repeat, we are not even talking about words, but about pictures.
In recent years, Russian sports functionaries have made so many compromises, recognizing certain sanctions, that it’s probably time to get used to it.
But not everyone has the flexibility of belief. And so a seditious question arises – is there any framework beyond which the humiliation of Russian athletes will not go?
My number is 245
Why, in fact, is it impossible to publish an image of national symbols in social networks? Because because of this, people will find out that they are dealing with an athlete from Russia?
But according to this logic, the Russians at the World Championships should be banned from speaking Russian, because this even more accurately betrays their belonging to a sanctioned country. And at the same time, oblige to broadcast in English, so as not to violate the punishment regime approved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Not to mention the fact that these Russians have some defiantly Russian names and surnames, which can also be considered a hidden demonstration of nationality. Therefore, the next idea may be to replace the names and surnames of athletes from Russia with the usual numbers – athlete number 25, athlete number 42, athlete number 67, etc.
The progressiveness of international sports functionaries in terms of sanctions is such that you don’t even know what else they will impose against Russians? Maybe a tribute?