Figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva is speaking out against the International Olympic Committees ban on Russian athletes competing for the nation in the forthcoming Winter Olympics.
In 2014, I was 14 years old, the 18-year-old competitor wrote in a statement Tuesday to the IOCs executive board, per Ice Network. I have not even entered the adult national team of my country.
For me personally, Pyeongchang [South Korea] should be the first chance to plunge into the unique atmosphere of the Olympic Games. I do not understand why I and my Russian teammates can lose this chance.
On Tuesday, the IOC announced they had banned Russian from participating in the Winter Games after the nation was found tampering with over 100 urine samples during 2014s Sochi Games in an attempt to conceal steroid usage. The country was also hit with a $15 million fine.
Expected to be a gold-medal contender, Medvedeva, a two-time world champion, scoffed at the idea she and her fellow Russians would be able to compete under the name Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR), drug tests pending, and is unsure if she will compete.
I cannot accept the option that I would compete in the Olympic Games without the Russian flag as a neutral athlete, Medvedeva said. I am proud of my country, it is a great honor for me to represent it at the Games. It gives strength and inspires me during the performances.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he will not tell his countrys athletes to boycott the games.
We, without doubt, will not declare a blockade, we will not prevent our Olympians from taking part [in the Games], if one of them wants to take part in a personal capacity, said Putin via the state run RIA news agency, according to CNN.
Though Putin believes the athletes will have to make a decision themselves in terms of participation,Medvedeva ponders if theSouth Korean event will be her lone Olympic opportunity.
Everyone has dreams, and you probably already had a chance to fulfill your own. Let me do the same! She pleaded. I do not know if there will be other Games in my sports life after Pyeongchang.