Maria Lasitskene

According to the athlete, she made this decision after the minister did not listen to her about the actions of the head of the ARAF, and this led to tougher sanctions against the Russians

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Maria Lasitskene

(Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Olympic champion and three-time world champion in high jump Maria Lasitskene said “RIA News”that he sees no point in meeting with the Minister of Sports Oleg Matytsin.

According to Lasitskene, “everything became clear” to her after 2020, when she tried to explain to the minister that Yevgeny Yurchenko’s actions at the head of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) would worsen the situation for the Russians.

“He said, ‘I’ll figure it out.’ And after that he disappeared. As a result, World Athletics deprived us of neutral statuses, removed us from international competitions, and, as I said, I persuaded the presidential administration to pay the fine. The point is, I don’t have to do all this. Moreover, I don’t want to do all this. But we have had to do this for seven years now,” Lasickienė said.

According to her, after that story, she refuses to meet with Matytsin, “because it makes no sense.” “These are just meetings for the sake of photos or a tick. <...> What will I tell Matytsin? Well, let’s smile at each other, Oleg Vasilyevich will say that the Ministry of Sports is working, I will say that we are working. Each of us will be right in our own way, we will spend an hour, and it will not lead to anything,” Lasitskene said.

RBC sent a request to the press service of the Ministry of Sports.

Lasitskene said she was too old to change sports citizenship

Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

In March, the jumper’s husband, Vladas Lasickas, announced that she refused to meet with the Minister of Sports, at which it was planned to discuss measures to support athletes in the face of sanctions restrictions.

Lasitskene is the champion of the Tokyo Olympics, the world champion in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and the European champion in 2018.

The VFLA has been suspended since 2015. Russians could get admission to international starts by requesting neutral status from the international federation, but in March they were banned from competing at international starts even in neutral status.

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