Sponsor Promised to Make Logo in Colors of Ukraine so Russian Skiers Would Withdraw from World Cup
OREANDA-NEWS The general sponsor of the World Cup in cross-country skiing, Coop, announced plans to make Ukrainian colors of its logo on T-shirts with the starting numbers of athletes for the stages in Norwegian Drammen and Oslo in order to force Russian skiers to withdraw from the competition. This is reported by VG.
"We think it would be inefficient to simply remove the logo. We hope that the Russians will not go with such starting numbers if FIS does not exclude them from the races," said Bjorn Takle Friis, Director of Communications and Development at Coop Norway.
On February 26, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced that it would not ban Russians from taking part in its competitions because of the situation in Ukraine.
At the same time, in accordance with the recommendations of the IOC, the flag and anthem of Russia will not be used at the award ceremony. However, on February 28, the IOC changed its position, recommending not to allow Russians and Belarusians to all tournaments.
The Norwegian edition quoted the FIS comment that the federation "clearly expressed its attitude to Russian athletes and to all competitions."
Russian skiers have already arrived in Norway for the World Cup stages, which will be held on March 3 in Drammen and March 5-6 in Oslo.
Five-time Olympic champion Norwegian skier Johannes Klebo called the position of the FIS, which does not exclude Russians, "cowardice and weakness".