In light of “positive developments” in the issue over Russian athletes’ eligibility to compete, Olympic gymnastics champion Angelina Melnikova has voiced hope that she and her fellow Russian competitors will be cleared to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
A. Melnikova Olympic Games
Melnikova was a major reason why the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) women’s gymnastics team won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She also earned bronze medals in the all-around and floor exercise competitions.
However, the widespread sanctions imposed on Russian sport as a result of the situation in Ukraine have put the 22-year-dreams old’s of repeating that success in Paris in two years’ time in jeopardy.
Some Olympic officials, such as the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Craig Reedie, have already hinted that Russian and Belarusian athletes might not be able to compete in Paris since they are not cleared for qualifying events leading up to the Games.
But US Olympic official Susanne Lyons said last week that the IOC was already consulting with members about a “pathway” return to competition for Russian competitors.
Gold Medalist Anna Melnikova
The gold medalist from Tokyo, Anna Melnikova, has stated that even if Russian athletes are forced to compete under neutral status in the future, as they will at the 2020 Summer Games and the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang due to WADA penalties, it is preferable to not featuring at all.
Melnikova, who is also the 2021 all-around world champion in her discipline, said, “We truly hope for any kind of entry to the Olympics because this isn’t the first time we’ve performed without a flag and anthem.”
We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a good outcome. For now, we’ll have to wait till the year’s end. Talks are happening, and things appear to be progressing favourably.
Melnikova told Metaratings that “there is hope for Paris,” adding that the team’s current preparations were not in vain.
Artur Dalaloyan, who also helped Russia win gold at the Olympics in Tokyo as a member of the men’s team, called the present restrictions “absurd,” but he, like Melnikova, expressed hope that the situation would be rectified before the Paris Games.