Irina Rodnina: “In a situation when the security and interests of the country and the entire nation are at stake, changing the sports citizenship isn’t the right thing to do.”
Three-time Olympic champion, State Duma deputy Irina Rodnina also spoke about the possible change of citizenship by Russian figure skaters.
source: sport24.ru dd. 5th April
Irina Rodnina: Whether to change sports citizenship or not, the skaters will decide for themselves, each individually. Will switching to another national team be considered a betrayal? In this case, if it concerns well-known athletes, it will be perceived very painfully. Someone will consider this a betrayal, someone will condemn athletes for such a decision.
In a situation when the security and interests of the country and the entire nation are at stake, changing the national team is not the right thing to do, in my opinion. Yes, athletes want to compete in the international arena, but there are certain circumstances and restrictions that reality dictates us. Mass outflow of our athletes will cause a negative reaction and it’s a fact. But I do not undertake to give an assessment to this negativity.
Personally, I believe that each case will have to be considered separately, and not to condemn all at once. If we talk about our skaters, then these are mostly underage athletes. That is, parents will make decisions for them, which means that it will be more correct to discuss and condemn parents and coaches, and not the athletes.
In general, this is a very difficult question, thank God, I didn’t have such an example in my career, although after the collapse of the USSR, many athletes started to compete for countries that didn’t even have ice rinks. Then such an opportunity appeared and many took advantage of it. But I want to repeat – the times are very different and each time dictates its own conditions and rules. We cannot say with absolute certainty what will happen in a year, two or ten. Therefore, while nothing has begun, it is too early to draw conclusions.
Tatiana Tarasova: “ISU offenders are taking the lives of our athletes. We are not to blame for this, but the ISU. They are the traitors. In this case, the change of sports citizenship won’t be considered a betrayal.”