Russian gymnasts speak out against the IOC’s decision

While Svetlana Khorkina is the most visible gymnast outraged about the IOC’s decision to ban Russia as a country from the 2018 Winter Olympics, the majority of the current and former gymnasts also posted their reactions on Instagram. Below are some of their reactions. When you read these, please remember that these are examples of the general Russian reaction to the ban and that athletes are as affected by the state propaganda as regular Russian people. Russian government still maintaines that there was no state-sponsored doping and the majority of people believe that.

Aliya Mustafina‘s family is directly affected by the ban – her husband, Aleksey Zaytsev, is an Olympic hopeful in bobsleigh and two of his teammates received doping bans just last week. Mustafina repeatedly said that she wanted to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics to cheer for her husband, but now, if he makes it, he’ll have to compete under the neutral flag. She said the following on Instagram: “You know how they say, justice will prevail! And I hope that those who are in charge of all this lawlessness will get a boomerang response that will be a million times stronger. Fair sport? Where? Dear [suit emoji], what have you turned the sport into? It’s obvious that there’s no understanding of the whole value of this word… #russiaforsport #norussianogames”

Daria Spiridonova on her Instagram: “I still can’t believe in what’s happening. The Olympic Games without Russia aren’t Olympic Games!!! Everyone knows that our country is the best country!!! And we just have to go [to the Olympics] and win everything! I want to wish our winter sports patience, strength and please know that we’re always with you. We’re one big family.”

Angelina Melnikova on her Instagram: “Throughout all my life in gymnastics, I’ve never thought that there’s anything easy in sports! Every athlete works hard and everyone has a dream! I think that the most cherished dream is an OLYMPIC MEDAL! But you can’t just deprive a person of their dream! We’re all athletes – we’re one family! #norussianogames #russia #team #olympicgames #givethedreamback”

Ksenia Afansayeva on Instagram: “What’s even happening? Do people even realize how many athletes toiled like horses for many many years! How they deprived themselves of many joys! How many tears were shed and how much effort was spent! Maybe the IOC wants to disqualify all this? Anyway, I want to say! The more we are pressured, the stronger we become. And the athletes have to compete there in any case… otherwise, what’s the point of all these years? Let’s support our athletes no matter the IOC’s decision. Post photos with the tags #russiaforsport and #norussianogames and tag everyone who’s not indifferent! We’re with you, we believe in you! #forsport #russiaisachampion”

Что вообще происходит?!Люди вообще понимают сколько спортсменов пахали как лошади много много лет!Как отказывали себе во многих радостях.Сколько слез пролито и сил потрачено!А может это МОК надо дисквалифицировать🤔Все же,хочу сказать!Чем сильнее нас давят,тем сильнее мы становимся.И спортсменам нужно выступать в любом случае….а иначе в чем смысл этих прожитых лет?!Давайте поддержим наших спортсменов, независимо от решения МОК! Выкладывайте фото с тегом #РоссияЗАСПОРТ #norussianogames и отмечайте всех неравнодушных! Мы с вами, мы верим! #ZASPORT #россиячемпион

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Emin Garibov on Instagram:


A post shared by Emin Garibov (@egaribov) on

Nikolai Kuksenkov on Instagram: “The foundational principle of the Olympic Charter says: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.  Sports organisations within the Olympic Movement shall have the rights and obligations of autonomy. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” The IOC is contradicting itself! This decision shocked me. Shame on the IOS and everyone who took part in this crime!!! #norussianogames”.

Viktoria Komova reposted someone else’s post on her Instagram, saying: “We know what hard work is, we know how important competitions are for every athlete. No matter the IOC’s decision, we’re with you! Everyone who wants to support our national team, post photos with the tag #russiaforsport”.

Tatiana Nabieva in her Instagram story: No Russia No Games.

Maria Kharenkova, in her Instagram story: #norussianogames

Valeria Saifulina, a junior national team member, in her Instagram story: “Russia never gives up, she only becomes stronger!!! #Russiaforsport Guys, we’re with you! Olympic Games without Russia aren’t Olympic Games”

Even Oleg Stepko, who isn’t known for patriotism and loyalty to one specific country, joined the flashmob, posting #norussianogames in his Instagram story.

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  • “athletes are as affected by the state propaganda as regular Russian people”

    I am not sure I understand why you stated this. They have a right to be angry, sad, heartbroken. I am sure they are thinking that the clean athletes be allowed to perform under the Russian flag instead of a neutral flag…nothing wrong with that.

    • I agree. The blanket ban against an entire nation and many clean athletes??? How is this fair and unbiased? Mixing sport and politics reeks, big time. It’s very obvious what has happened here.

    • What I believe she means is that state propaganda is that Russia did nothing wrong, there was no massive doping program run by the Ministry of Sport, nor was there the intensive cheating program in Sochi of swapping samples. That is what the majority of Russians believe. So instead of being angry at corruption in their government, they believe they are victims of anti-Russian bias. It is sad for the many athletes who never doped.

  • Apparently all Russians are delusional. Maybe they should look for blame in their own country. I’m curious to know what they think the IOC should have done, ignore the scandal?
    I think they did the right thing, clean athletes can compete under a neutral flag, banned athletes + Russia as a country do not get to compete

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