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UCI confirms Russian cyclist Zabelinskaya’s change of sports nationality

August 09, 17:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s Olympic medalist in female cycling competitions Olga Zabelinskaya told TASS that the International Cycling Union officially confirmed her transfer to the national team of Uzbekistan

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Olga Zabelinskaya

Olga Zabelinskaya

© AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Russia’s three-time Olympic medalist in female cycling competitions Olga Zabelinskaya told TASS on Thursday that the International Cycling Union (UCI) officially confirmed her transfer to the national team of Uzbekistan.

On Monday, Zabelinskaya said in an interview with TASS that she intended to change sports nationality and join another national cycling federation. A source in the Russian Cycling Federation disclosed to TASS also on Monday that Zabelinskaya had already submitted a request with the International Cycling Union (UCI) asking to be transferred to another national sports federation, namely the Cycling Federation of Uzbekistan.

"My transfer to the national team of Uzbekistan has been officially confirmed and I would like to take part this month in the [2018] Asian Games," Zabelinskaya told TASS on Thursday.

A spokesman for the UCI confirmed to TASS that Zabelinskaya’s transfer and change of the sports nationality was officially confirmed. The spokesman for the international organization added that in line with the UCI regulations the athlete will be unable to participate in the UCI World Championship neither this nor next year after changing the sports nationality.

The National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan announced on Wednesday that Zabelinskaya had been included in the national roster of Uzbekistan for participation in the upcoming 2018 Asian Games.

The pan-Asian multi-sport event, the 2018 Asian Games, is scheduled to be held between August 18 and September 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

Director General of the Russian Cycling Federation (RCF) Yury Kucheryavy said earlier in the week commenting on the situation that the federation would be strongly objecting Zabelinskaya’s transfer to another national sports federation. Kucheryavy added that, according to the rules of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Russian rider faced a possibility of skipping the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.

Zabelinskaya is a two-time bronze medalist of 2012 London Olympics, winning them in road race and time trial events. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro she won silver in the time trial event.

In early summer of 2016, the International Cycling Union (UCI) barred Zabelinskaya from taking part in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil due to her previous doping suspension ban, which she had already sat out.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on August 5, 2016, right when the Summer Olympics officially kicked off in Brazil, that the Russian cyclist was eligible to take part in the global quadrennial sports event.

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