— Published 16 May 2023

The Russians remain in the dark

Will Russian athletes participate in the European Games 2023 in Poland? A little more than a month before the event (June 21 to July 2), the question seemed clear-cut. His answer was negative. But some sources in the Russian sport suggest that the door would not be closed. Tatyana Kiriyenko, the secretary general of the Russian Boxing Federation (RBF), explained to the TASS agency that everything remains possible. “Until now, it is a mystery surrounded by darkness for us, she said. We are currently working with the Russian Ministry of Sports and the Russian Olympic Committee to develop a tactical plan. The IOC has given us the green light to participate in the boxing tournament, with a neutral status, but the Polish organizers have assured that boxers from Russia and Belarus will not participate. We hope that our athletes will be able to go to the European Games. But we also have a plan B in case things don’t go as planned.” Earlier in the day, on Monday, May 15, the head coach of Russian boxing, Eduard Kravtsov, assured that Russian boxers had been invited to participate in the European qualifying tournaments for the Paris 2024 Games. “The invitations are following each other, he told TASS. Albert Batyrgaziyev has received an invitation to fight in the under 57 kg category. Vsevolod Shumakov has also been invited. And I believe that an invitation has been extended to Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, silver medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. These invitations are for the European qualifying tournaments.” As a reminder, the International Boxing Federation (IBA) allows Russians and Belarusians to participate in its competitions, under their own colors, but it is no longer in charge of organizing the qualifying events and the Olympic tournament. For the Games of Paris 2024, as for those of Tokyo 2020, the IOC took back to him the handles of it. But the Olympic authority, which recommends to the international federations to reintegrate the Russian and Belarusian athletes, did not specify yet its position concerning the Olympic qualifications in boxing.