The head of the Russian Olympic Committee revealed that he has lodged a complaint with the International Gymnastics Federation over the judging of a gymnastics event at Tokyo 2020
Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Stanislav Pozdnyakov has made an official complaint to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) over the officiating in the rhythmic gymnastics competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The alleged errors in question were made during the women’s all-around individual rhythmic gymnastics event and in particular, the ribbon discipline.
A Russian has won gold in the overall event at every Olympics since Atlanta 1996. ROC athlete Dina Averina believes she should have continued that trend, but owing to a lower than expected score in the ribbon despite not making an obvious error, she finished with 107.650 points and a silver medal.
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Israel’s Linoy Ashram won gold by a tiny margin, earning 107.800 points despite having dropped the ribbon during her routine. Her achievement was truly historic as it made her the first female Israeli to win an Olympic gold medal.
Averina herself and a number of the ROC delegation have made their feelings clear about the officiating.
Averina said: “I don’t feel that it was fair today and it was obvious from the very first apparatus when… I got a lower score, so I can’t say that it was very fair.
“I can’t spot any obvious mistake that I did. I was pretty consistent and clean compared to Linoy who lost the apparatus.”
The president of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation Irina Viner-Usmanova used stronger terms to berate the standard of judging in the competition. Speaking to Russian state-controlled network RT, she said: “It was simply a disgrace to rhythmic gymnastics.
“Enough, they got tired of Russia. And the judges decided to support this Israeli woman.”
Pozdnyakov confirmed the official nature of the complaints, saying: “We have decided that we will not close our eyes to this situation. We are already preparing an official appeal to the FIG.”
Russian athletes were forced to compete at Tokyo 2020 under the ROC banner after the Russian federation itself was found guilty of engaging in a state-sponsored doping scheme. All 335 of the ROC athletes who appeared in Tokyo had to prove that they had no links to the doping scandal.
Russia remains banned from all major sporting events until December 2022- meaning that currently, they are unable to take part in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.