Jelena Välbe will not continue as a board member of FIS. It became clear after Välbe received the fewest votes of all the relevant candidates during Thursday’s FIS congress.
The result makes many in the Russian ski community react strongly.
– This decision is in accordance with the policies of many foreign countries. I think the representatives of other countries, who were in the FIS Council, were pressured, says the Russian cross-country skiingssjefen in Borodavko Juryto the Championship.
The vice president of the Russian Ski Federation, Sergei Kryanin, is also strongly against the result.
– I think this is a political decision. It should not be like that, he says Championship and thinks everyone will lose on it:
– In this situation, everyone loses: the international federation and our athletes. They should compete in different parts of the world, gather the strongest and show who is the best, says Kryanin.
Former world champion Alexei Petukhov believes Välbe was not re-elected due to the sanctions against Russia.
– This is bad news. In this case, we will not be able to do anything until the moment there is a revolution in the economic situation in the world, Petukhov told Championat.
He is supported by former Russian cross-country skier Alexander Panzjinsky.
– We had hoped that Välbe’s personal presence would help, but as we can see, it did not help.
– I do not understand why it is done. By not taking Russia into the FIS Council, they cut off the country from all decisions and deprive them of the right to vote in serious matters. There is total discrimination and FIS has shown its true face, Panzjinsky rages to the Championship.
– Not personally
Erik Røste is Norway’s only representative on the board and was re-elected by a good margin on Thursday. He stated in advance that he would not vote for Välbe. Secretary General of the Norwegian Ski Association Ingvild Bretten Berg was also present.
– The FIS Congress clearly distanced itself from the situation and the regime in Russia through its voting. In Norway, we have been clear that this was our position, therefore we are pleased with the clear signal that was given through the vote, says Bretten Berg to Dagbladet.
– The voting at the congress was not of a personal nature. Välbe and the other candidates who were not elected to the FIS council took it very professionally, she continues.