Russian candidate for the post of head of the technical committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Natalia Kuzmina was removed from the elections. This was announced on Sunday, September 19, by the head of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics (VFHG) Irina Viner-Usmanova.
Kuzmina served as the head of the FIG technical committee, but after the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Viner-Usmanova announced that the Russian organization would withdraw her candidacy, Gazeta.ru adds.
“We removed her from the elections the day before yesterday. We sent a letter to the FIG, and three hours later, the FIG published a new composition for the elections, and Kuzmina is not there, Russia withdrew her candidacy, “Viner-Usmanova clarified in an interview with RIA Novosti.
According to her, the Russian side has no replacement. The head of VFHG noted that Kuzmina had been nominated back in May, and at the moment she was removed, because “without her it is better than with her, because no one would have dared to do what she did.”
Thus, Viner-Usmanova reacted to the referee scandal at the Tokyo Games. Then, on August 7, the rhythmic gymnast from Russia Dina Averina lost in the final of the individual all-around at the Olympic Games to the representative of Israel Lina Ashram, who won a medal of the highest standard.
The work of the judges during the all-around finals in rhythmic gymnastics was criticized. The head of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics said that the refereeing was a flagrant injustice. According to her, Averina did not lose, but won. She also stressed that the Ashram made a gross mistake, for which all brigades usually take off points for both performance and technique and artistry.
During the competition, the Russian delegation several times filed protests against judges Dina and Arina Averin, but only one of them was satisfied: Arina was added 0.400 points for performing with clubs. At the same time, Ashram dropped the tape during her performance, but the judges gave her 23,300 points – only 0.700 less than Dina’s.
The Russian Olympic Committee formed and sent a request for refereeing to FIG. However, the International Gymnastics Federation refused to provide video analysis and protocols on the results of the performance of the Russians. The FIG said that judging at the Olympic rhythmic gymnastics competitions was not biased. The organization noted that they are satisfied with the work of qualified and impartial judges.
On August 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated that Russian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics confirmed that any attempts to politicize sports are pointless. He stressed that the athletes defended the honor of the country at the Games, despite the strongest external pressure.
The 2020 Olympics took place in Tokyo, and the competition ended on August 8. Russian athletes, who competed as a team of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) due to the sanctions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), won 20 gold, 28 silver and 23 bronze medals and took fifth place in the medal standings.