US bans top Russian snowboarders | to ski
The skaters wanted to leave for Salt Lake City from Schiphol in Amsterdam, but were not allowed to board. They are now back home, in part because they have a lot of backlog in training. They have muted hopes that they will be able to travel to the US for the foreseeable future, but so far they are in a state of uncertainty. The International Skating Union (ISU) is deeply disappointed and sent a burning letter to the US and International Olympic Committee on Wednesday afternoon.
“I understand that it is currently being discussed at the highest level in America,” Jan Dijkima, head of the ISU, said Wednesday night. “We have emphasized very strongly that it must be ensured that Russian skaters can travel to Salt Lake City in the short term, because these are qualifying moments for the Beijing Winter Games. And skaters, just like tennis players, for example, will fall under the exceptions of top athletes.”
In their own words, Dijkima and ISU don’t know why this is making this difficult now. We especially hope to find a solution as soon as possible, as this is highly undesirable. I still assume that Russian skaters will participate in the World Cup in Salt Lake. ”
The first Dutch snowboarders traveled to North America earlier this week without any problems. Most National Toppers “only” at the start of the third World Cup of the season; From Erin West, Jutta Leerdam and Irene Schouten to Kild Noyce, Thomas Kroll and Kai Verbig. Just like the Russians, the Dutch will also have to work hard in the coming weeks to get the maximum starting tickets (nine for each gender) for the Beijing Winter Games.
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