Ukraine War Day #392: End Discrimination Against Russian Athletes!

Dear Readers:

Even before this war started, in fact going back even years and decades, the Western world has launched a racist crusade against Russian athletes. Branding them as cheaters and dopers, and eventually managing to exclude them from international competitions. In many sports, with Russian athletes out of the way, this allowed the U.S. and its client states to sweep the podium unfairly. Don’t even get me started on figure skating, the unseemly humiliations and denigrations to which Russian elite athletes have been subjected…

Elena Vyal’be, in her prime

This story comes from another winter sport: Cross-country ski racing. The reporter is Dmitry Zubarev, who covers the ski beat. His source is a woman named Elena Valerievna Vyal’be, who heads the Federation of [Nordic] Ski Racers for the Russian Federation. This organization, in turn, is a member of the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS). Or rather, was a member, until expelled, last year. The FIS is the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding, founded in 1924 during the first Olympic Games in Chamonix, France. It claims 135 member nations. Problem: It’s a Westie institution, based in Oberhofen, Switzerland. Due to this flaw in its genesis, it is anti-Russian to the core and goes along with the typical negative propaganda and discrimination against Russian athletes.

According to Vyal’be, FIS Head Johan Eliasch “made a phone call to our Secretary-General”, and from the tone of the call, the message was clear: Eliasch wants Russia to return to the fold. Reason being: Sales are down, viewer interest in the sport has declined, without the thrill of competing against Russia. [yalensis: viewer interest in televized cock-fighting declined for much the same reason; little joke there…] As we shall see below, Eliasch comes from the world of business so the bottom line is important to him. But not as important as overriding ideological considerations.

Eppur SMO muove

Russia is definitely interested in returning, Russians love to compete in all international organizations. But wait, there’s a catch!

According to Vyal’be, Eliasch placed two conditions: Firstly, Russians cannot compete under the national flag; they have to compete as stateless beings. In the past, Russia has sucked it up and accepted this humiliating condition at various competitions. But the second condition is more onerous: The FIS demands that each Russian athlete sign a sort of loyalty pledge to the West: “They demand that the Russian athletes either verbally or in written form, confirm that they do not support the Special Military Operation.”

Grand Inquisitor: “You must denounce the SMO, or we don’t let you ski.”
Johan Eliasch: “You gotta toe the Party Line if you want to compete.”

Vyal’be replied to Eliasch: “None of our athletes will stoop to this.” Personally, I wish she had said something a little bit stronger to him. Like: “I will cut your head off and sh*t down your neckhole.”

I mean, as a mind experiment, imagine this scenario: You are signing up for your neighborhood bowling league, but they demand you sign a pledge that you never voted for Biden. I mean, even if you did vote for Trump, you should be outraged, because your political views are none of their f*ing business!

Eliasch, by the way, reading his wiki bio, is both Swedish and English at the same time. He has been a businessman and politician before taking the FIS gig. According to wiki he helped to destroy the Amazon Rain Forest in 2008, although the charges against his logging company were later dropped.

It also seems that not everybody was happy with Eliasch’s election to the FIS:

At the 53rd International Ski Congress in May 2022, Eliasch ran unopposed and was re-elected as FIS president through 2026 but some delegates called the elections undemocratic as it was not possible to vote against him; as a result 15 national associations walked out during his election and 40 % of the delegates abstained.

Well, he seems like the kind of guy who doesn’t really believe in democracy anyhow. At least not freedom of speech and thought. In that respect, he seems more like the Spanish Inquisition. And nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition to head an international sports association.

Sports should be neutral.

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23 Responses to Ukraine War Day #392: End Discrimination Against Russian Athletes!

  1. Liborio Guaso says:

    Actually after the future storm that transforms the world even the sport must change. There should only be amateur sports, no fixed sports so that the stars of the sponsors shine. That the children enjoy the games without thinking about winning millions.
    Or does anyone believe that sportsmen are paid millions to see what happens on the field or has the result already been fixed?
    Business is business.


  2. Beluga says:

    We have a complete Russophobe in Canada by the name of Dr Dick Pound. He wangled his way to the top of some “international” sports anti-doping agency decades ago. Still sits like a sack of sh!t on the IOC, the most incorruptible sporting agency on Earth …/S

    Over the years, he unrelentingly accused Russia of doping its athletes, and in the end invented the idea of some trick method of Russia somehow getting around the results of negative random urine tests on Russian athletes — it amounted to Russia supposedly switching urine samples at testing HQ. You know, spies living in walls sort of crazy talk, able to switch samples on the fly. Talk about stupid conspiracy theories! Utter horseshite from beginning to end, and he didn’t stop during the Yeltsin years. I despise the man intensely, because athletics, what Americans for some unknown reason call track and field, is my sport of passion. Blame this real-life Dickhead for being the epitome of dunderheaded Westie “leaders” against Russian participation in international sporting competition. May he go pound himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      It’s a complete double standard: Westie athletes get away with doping to their heart’s content. Russian athletes either dope or don’t dope; either way they get accused of it. In women’s individual freestyle figure skating, Valieva has been exonerated on the doping front, but the Americans are still demanding their undeserved team medal, as if she HAD doped.


    • Dao Gen says:

      Are you sure this Dr. guy isn’t actually Zelensky’s brother? Zee really knows how to pound his piano.


      • yalensis says:

        Haha, good one! Dick Pound, I get it. If I was born with that name, I would change it as soon as my first neuron developed in utero.

        I heard that Dr. Pound is a distant descendant of the Roman Consul Biggus Dickus!


  3. S Brennan says:

    And don’t me started on how St. Jimmy convinced Americans [my younger self included] to use sports as a US State Department bludgeon against the USSR.

    In my defense, I had not yet perceived the tectonic shift away from FDRism and toward the regressive policies of Woodrow (KKK) Wilson [sans mercantilism]. That insight would begin to take shape in the 1984 primaries when then Senator John Glenn was sidelined and publicly humiliated for espousing boilerplate FDRisms by the incipient DLC who sought to undo 50 years of US progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. High time Russia began an alternative Olympics of countries that are independent of the American Empire.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. kaiser hans says:

    After that saying that war is bad and long live to peace is the kind of hypocritical speechs expected from every sportsman.

    but if you want to hit to the groin ask what ukrainians athletes think about iraq war or azerbaidjan armenia war orb afghanistan war

    Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      That would be a nice tit for tat!

      About a year ago, when the SMO had just started, there was some international figure skating competition, I forget where, but it was on American TV. The Russian athletes had been banned, it goes without saying; and so the podium was wide open for the Americans and a few of their clients, like the Japanese skaters.

      One Ukrainian kid was brought in for the men’s individual freestyle. (I forget his name.) The event organizers milked it for all it was worth: the kid entered the arena waving the Ukrainian flag and was given a standing ove.

      I think the judges wanted to love him because he was Ukrainian, but it became clear, during his short program, that he didn’t have the right stuff to compete at that level. In the end, he placed last among all the men. Well, somebody has to come in last at every event.

      And yeah, he should have been forced to sign a waiver that he condemned the American invasion of Iraq, Libya, Syria, the list goes on…


      • kaiser hans says:

        My question was far more violent for Ukraine and Poland than you think. Poland and Ukraine did take part in the Irak or Afghanistan invasion and Ukraine helped Azerbaidjan a lot
        As said a certain Jesus from Nazareth, who did not sin throw the first stone 🙂


        • yalensis says:

          Yup. Polish sent troops to Iraq because they love American imperialism. Ukraine sent troops because they are suck-up wannabes. Also, I think even way back, years before Maidan, the U.S. was starting to groom the Ukrainian army for the current war.


  6. tim rourke says:

    Hi, Yalensis!

    You have a topic here which interests me a lot. I wrote some blog posts about it awhile ago but I dropped them when I moved my site.

    I have this weird fondness for female athletes. I rarely watch male athletes but I often watch women doing the same stuff. They seem to me to be much more entertaining than the men.

    I especially like watching team sports, especially at the highest level, which means international competition. I do not care so much for basketball and soccer, but Ice Hockey and seven a side Rugby are great.

    And I miss seeing the Russian gals competing. They always go at it hard and serious. I want to see Olga Sosina play hockey again.

    I remember when the Russians played USA at worlds, I think about 2019. They are always outmatched. The Canada and USA teams are a mile ahead of everybody else.

    USA was up 6-0 in the last seconds of the game. Super Sosina blasted one past Hensley from point blank and put Russia on the board. It was an incredible play but the commentators barely noticed it. The game was not even mentioned in the daily recap.

    As for Rugby, I want to see Yelena Mikhailtsova rip the oppositions guts out again. I want to see Baizat Khamidova awe them with her limitless wingspan. I want to hear the Russian anthem again.

    I think a solution for all this is in the works. Several sports federations are fed up with it. One head of a fed, I think it was soccer, said that they were getting all the politics out of their sport. If any host country cannot accept any other country’s athletes on its territory, then the games will be played somewhere else.

    It may soon be that the western countries will be running their own versions of the old “friendship games.” They will just play among themselves and the rest of the world can get on with it, until they decide to rejoin the real world.

    The USSR’s friendship games, however, were only once and only among eight east bloc countries. Many countries sent their reserve teams there.

    They happened because the Soviets pulled out of the 1984 Los Angeles olympics, supposedly because security for Russian athletes was not good enough. It actually seemed like retaliation after the USA boycotted the 1980 Moscow olympics because of the Afghan intervention.

    However, if there is any country on earth which really deserves to be boycotted from international competition, it is the USA.


  7. JMF says:

    I’ve always thought of “exceptional nation” as the direct equivalent of “master race”.

    Considered in that light, this particular form of Russophobia seems to represent an aversion to any replay of Hitler’s profound embarrassment at the hands of Olympic victor Jesse Owens (a Schwartze!!)

    If one wants to wield the term “Untermenschen”, one can’t let them compete and expose the lie!


  8. Samson says:

    Sport is always and everywhere “neutral”, but professional sport is first and foremost business and for this reason alone always also subject to political priorities.

    How many outstanding Russian players, for example, are currently under contract with North American ice hockey teams? Do you seriously believe that even one of them could allow himself to justify the SMO in public or, for my sake, in “social networks” with reference to security interests of the Russian state, be it justified or not?

    By the way, who do you think came up with the idea of that athletes would compete for “their nation” and when they win, the anthem of “their” country would be played and its flag would be hoisted? Guess who?

    Exactly, it was the German fascists (today often referred to as “Nazis”) who had this introduced at the 1936 Olympics (officially by the IOC).

    Before that, athletes always competed for themselves and instead of medals they got laurel wreaths.

    Not to forget, by the way, the boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow by almost the entire West, “because of” Afghanistan, and four years later the counter-boycott of the Olympics in Los Angeles by the entire East.

    From the moment when states instrumentalised sport politically, boycotting was always a “suitable” means at least for propaganda purposes.

    In 1974 for another example, the USSR refused to play the deciding match for enter the final stage of the World Cup against Chile in the same stadium in which shortly before the military junta under Pinochet had imprisoned thousands of political opponents and killed countless of them.

    The (then already Western-dominated) world governing body FIFA scheduled the match “regularly” despite worldwide protests, the USSR team did not show up, the Chilean team scored a goal against a non-existent opponent, was declared the winner and entered the final round of the World Cup.

    As long as states declare themselves enemies and fight each other, sanctions, boycotts, etc. are part of the political business.


    • yalensis says:

      Excellent points, Samson. I didn’t know that history about the Nazis introducing the national anthem thing. That has always irritated me. The flag waving and anthems, and people putting their hands over their hearts – yuck! Makes me want to vomit.

      They should get rid of that, like you say, and just have athletes competing for themselves as individuals, like they originally did, back in ancient Greece.


  9. Daniel Rich says:

    Politics should never, ever be allowed near sports. I’ve been into sports from the moment I was able to properly run, and sports have a tendency to either divide [my team rules, not yours] or bring people together in a lighter and way more friendly manner.

    I am a westerner, being born their, but I’m so over the ‘west’ as an entity, and do not feel related to it in one way or another.

    I’ve been living/working in too many countries, not to see this planet as a whole [world].


  10. This is another way that the world is getting divided into two blocs — Westies & pals vs. everyone else. The United Nations is being ruined as a concept, because it’s slowly becoming a catspaw for whatever resolutions the West wants to proclaim through it. Directed at Russia, China or The Month’s Hitler. The idea of prosecuting war criminals now looks farcical because of the “arrest warrant” that the ICC issued against Putin. (And I’m no Putin fanboi!) There won’t be any future Nuremberg trials unless the current World Order falls apart completely. Even at the height of the Cold War, there was a modicum of cooperation and “let’s play together on the field, at least” until Jimmuh Carter (who I basically like, especially in his post-presidency) as noted above. The new Iron Curtain is being built, but the workers are labouring on the other side from where it was installed before.


  11. JMF says:

    Now here’s a ban that at least seems reasonable (and well-reasoned, biologically speaking):

    Trans women banned from female athletic competitions

    Transgender people will no longer be able to compete in female sports competitions, the World Athletics Council has ruled. From April on, any athlete who has been through male puberty will not be allowed to compete in women’s track and field events, regardless of their current hormonal levels.

    “The Council has agreed to exclude male or female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female world ranking competitions from March 31 this year,” said Sebastian Coe, the head of the organization, at a press-conference on Thursday.

    He said the Council held discussions with stakeholders, including 40 national federations, the International Olympic Committee and trans groups about the topic of transgender athletes. The majority agreed that trans athletes should not compete in female events.

    “Many believe there is insufficient evidence that trans women do not retain advantage over biological women and want more evidence that any physical advantages have been ameliorated before they are willing to consider an option for inclusion into the female category,” Coe said.

    “We continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations,” he added. …


    • yalensis says:

      I think that’s a reasonable compromise and appears to be based on science.
      Once you go through puberty and get that boost of testosterone, then you would have an unfair advantage, you already built up all those muscles and stuff, even if they artificially lower the testosterone levels later in life.

      You know what’s hysterical? During the Cold War, the West used to ridicule Soviet female athletes and call them trannies. East Germans too. They especially used to lampoon the East German women’s swimming team and called them all a bunch of trannies.


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