– The Norwegian Ski Association today informed the International Ski Federation (FIS) that the upcoming events in Norway will be carried out without Russian and Belarusian participation, regardless of what outcome the FIS should come up with, said an NSF press release.
The Ski Federation decided, on Saturday, that it did not want Russia to participate in the events in Norway, but the Islamic Salvation Front said so far that Russians and Belarusians should be allowed to participate in the events.
We had hoped that FIS would come to this decision on behalf of the entire sport of skiing, but now the Ski Association can’t wait any longer, says Ski President Erik Røste.
Espen Graf, head of communications at the Norwegian Ski Association, doesn’t want to say anything about how the decision will be implemented in practice.
– Discusses how to exercise such a decision, says Graf
Do you fear sanctions?
– We are well aware of the requirements of the World Cup race organizers in Norway, however we have made this decision. We don’t have time to wait for a possible clarification from the FIS anymore, he says.
Right to exclude Russians from participating in Norway?
Pressure from Ulvang
Thus, the skating federation is following what Wiggard Olvang, head of the FIS cross-country committee, said on Monday.
– I don’t think we should have Ross at first. Ukraine is a member of the Islamic Salvation Front and they are under attack. The skate legend told NRK that we can’t get it until the shooters flee their homes to fight, but the shooters are allowed to go.
He indicated that if the FIS did not agree to the decision, they could take Norway’s World Cup place in the race.
– It’s a risk we must take. After that, we will force the FIS to take effective measures, Olfang said.
Head of Sports Berit Kjol also responded forcefully to the fact that Russian athletes were able to participate in cross-country events in Norway.
– From our point of view, I do not want to accept that Putin’s officers will move in Drammen and go skiing while Ukrainian practitioners defend the Motherland. It’s morally reprehensible, Kjøll tells NRK.
Dramamen organizer wanted to withdraw
Stefan Marks, general manager of the Holmenkollen Ski Festival, is behind the decision.
– We’ve been working on this for several days now, and we’re very pleased that NSF has taken such a clear stand along the way. We hope that the FIS will now follow up on this, but in practice for our planning, this matter is no longer relevant, he said.
– Now there will be a folk festival in Kollen and we would like to see many blue and yellow flags with the Norwegians. We have already started lighting Kollen blue and yellow yesterday to show our support for Ukraine and Ukrainian athletes.
The press release from the Norwegian Ski Association comes less than half an hour after Konnerud IL, organizer of the city’s race in Drammen on Thursday, threatened to quit if the Russians were allowed to participate.
On Thursday morning, Geir Kehli, chairman of the Drammen Skateboarding Property Committee, confirmed to NRK that Belarus had withdrawn its players from the Drammen ski race.
The International Olympic Committee will ban
After Russia joined the military forces in Ukraine last Thursday, there has been a lot of pressure on international sports organizations to ensure that Russian athletes are not allowed to participate in international competitions.
In the past 24 hours, a number of international federations, including UEFA, FIFA and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), have decided to ban Russian teams.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also called on all sports federations to exclude Russia and Belarus from all international competitions.
However, the International Skating Federation (FIS) did not make this decision. On Monday, they wrote the following in an email to NRK:
– The FIS Board of Directors has been clear in its approach to Russian athletes in all FIS competitions. To ensure fair and inclusive competitions at all FIS events, national federations and local organizers must not disqualify practitioners on the basis of gender, race, nationality or sexual orientation, FIS wrote.
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