In early May, Russian propaganda stated, referring to the head coach of the Russian skiing team Yuri Borodavko, that “Olympic champions Alexander Bolshunov and Natalya Nepryaeva had their May training camp moved from Crimea to Kislovodsk” and that this “decision was made because for the tense situation in the region”.

Earlier, on April 9, the aggressor’s propaganda stated that “the Borodavko group will begin gathering in the Crimea on May 15”, in addition to the indicated persons, it includes Denis Spitsov, Alexei Chervotkin, Ivan Yakimushkin, Alexander Terentyev, Nikita Denisov, Artem Maltsev, Maria Istomina and Daria Nepryaeva.

It is noteworthy that on Russian sports resources, the April news was overgrown with comments such as “explosive training camps may turn out”, “if they are military personnel, then everything is logical” and “if you train in Crimea, you can lose your last chance to return to international competitions even in a neutral status”.

However, Borodavko’s group has been criminally “training” on the occupied peninsula for several years, and in April last year the same trainer directly admitted this.

Then Borodavko tried to “play a joke” on the statement by the then head of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Committee, Vegard Ulvang, of the simple fact that “the trip of Russian athletes to Crimea” is “symbolic”, as not sportive but propaganda one, and could lead to new sanctions. Former Norwegian national team coach Vidar Lefshus then also called the decision on the venue of the training camp political.

It is especially worth noting that there are no professional-level ski facilities in Crimea, as well as snow in May. Borodavko brought his skiers to the occupied peninsula solely for the purpose of criminal propaganda, allegedly for “general loads on the legs” such as mountain biking.

In 2022, among this group in Crimea, Ivan Yakimushkin, Denis Spitsov and Alexei Chervotkin “marked themselves”, and the latter directly stated in the media aggressor’s commentary that “everyone knows what he is doing and why he is doing it … We understand why we we are here.”

Recall that earlier our Association demanded that all international sports associations check the so-called “neutral athletes” for complicity in the occupation of Crimea, including by conducting illegal “trainings and training camps” there.

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