Khorkina: IOC is trying to orphan Russian athletes

The IOC is supposed to decide in December whether Russia will be allowed to participate in Winter Olympics in 2018 and whether any punishment for the state-wide doping will be given. According to New York Times, one of the possible punishment that is being discussed by the IOC is banning the Russian anthem at the Olympics and barring the Russian athletes from the opening ceremony.

Svetlana Khorkina has been outspoken about the doping accusations since they first came to light. In her memoir, Khorkina dedicated a whole chapter to the doping accusations and even went so far as to say that the whole doping scandal is a development of a conspiracy against Russia that started with the incorrectly set up vault in Sydney. Khorkina also spoke negatively about the WADA, accusing them of not caring of the athletes’ well-being and even comparing them to Nazis.

Khorkina talked to R-Sport when the news of the possible ban on Russian anthem at the Olympics came out:

“People from abroad have violated the values of the international Olympic movement so much already, the movement which has been “purely” athletic and understandable, where talent, hard work, skill and sometimes luck won. So, now when you’re waiting for the Olympic, instead of preparing with joy and perseverance already,  you’re being afraid that more dirt will be thrown on you, dirt that hasn’t been backed up by evidence and facts.”

“Regarding the information of that one publication that the anthem of our country will not be played, this “little newsprint” first writes something, and then everyone makes a big deal out of it. People [in that publication] have to accept responsibility already. They cite anonymous sources in the IOC in all their articles, there’s always information that hasn’t been supported by facts – it’s time to show everyone’s faces and start working openly. The work of the WADA is completely unclear and, in addition, is done behind the closed doors. All the rules and work protocols have to be revised. Everything possible should be done so it wouldn’t happen anymore that some people are punished, and today these punishments to Russia are even made worse, but some are let go unpunished. There should be the same rules for everyone”.

According to Khorkina, banning the Russian anthem is an attack on the country’s pride:

“All the symbols of the statehood of Russia as a great sports power are the president, the anthem, the flag, the parliament, the army which nowadays practically alone defends the entire world’s community. And they are trying to leave our athletes without mother, without our big and powerful country. They want to leave us without our mother so that we would stand in the first place on the medal podium as orphans. I hope that our sports official will do everything possible to defend not only the pride of our athletes but also the pride of our country. These kind of insults are beyond the rules of diplomacy.”

Khorkina also added that she wishes Russian athletes to prepare for the Winter Olympics without paying any attention to the scandal:

“[I wish them] to continue working hard to prepare for the Olympics, to work according to their program. I truly believe that we will hear our beautiful anthem loud and clear and that our tricolor will fly higher than everyone else’s.”


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