Former Russian gymnast Polstyana, who plays for Latvia, was banned from participating in the World Championships

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Athlete Elizaveta Polstyanaya said that she was not allowed to participate in the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships. She started her career in Russia, but in 2018 she received Latvian citizenship and began to play for her national team.

The gymnast said that “sport is out of politics” – “these are empty words.” “I was not allowed to reach the goal to which I had been going all my life …. They left me no choice, they didn’t give me the right to compete at the World Championships and finish at least this season, ”she wrote on Instagram (owned by Meta, which is recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation and banned).

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The girl admitted that she was terribly offended, but she “won’t blame anyone.” “Let it remain on the conscience of the people who made this decision… My main goal was to adequately represent Latvia in the international arena,” Polstyanaya explained, noting that she succeeded, “no matter how hard they tried to devalue it.”

Polstyanaya was born in Jurmala, but her parents moved to Moscow, and the girl competed for Russia for several years. She became the champion of Moscow three times in the team event among juniors. In 2019, after changing citizenship, she took four golds at the Latvian Championship, as well as silver in the all-around. At the 2022 European Championships, she took fourth place in the exercises with a hoop. She is a six-time Latvian champion

The World Cup will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria from 14 to 18 September. In March, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) announced the removal of Russian athletes from competitions under its auspices. This decision was made against the background of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The FIG also banned the use of political propaganda in tournaments.

Laura Keffer

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