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Russia’s 2014 Olympic cross-country skiing medalist Chernousov changes sports citizenship

The 33-year-old Russian cross-country skier was not performing for his country since the summer of 2016

MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Russia’s 2014 Olympic bronze medalist in cross-country skiing Ilya Chernousov has changed his sports citizenship and will be representing the national team of Switzerland, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced to TASS on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Russian cross-country skier was not performing for his country since the summer of 2016 and this week FIS approved his transfer to another national team.

Commenting on the athlete’s decision to change the sports citizenship, President of the Russian Cross Country Ski Federation Yelena Vyalbe told TASS that the federation had nothing against the decision of Chernousov.

"We received nothing [from the Swiss Cross-Country Skiing Federation], but we have no complaints whatsoever regarding about him [Chernousov] as his transfer had been earlier formalized in line with all regulations," Vyalbe said in an interview with TASS. "For God’s sake, let him compete for them as we have nothing against it."

"I know that he is in the waiting list for the Swiss passport," she continued. "If the Swiss national team accepts him, I have nothing against it. Perhaps, he will show decent results."

The head of the Russian Cross Country Ski Federation also said that Chernousov would be able to race for the Swiss team at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after changing the sposrt citizenship.

"Since he skipped the [2018 PyeongChang] Olympics in Korea there is nothing in his way obstructing his possible participation in the upcoming Games," Vyalbe added.

Chernousov won the bronze of the 2014 Olympics in 50km Mass Start event sharing the top pedestal with his now former teammates Maxim Vylegzhanin (the silver medal) and Alexander Legkov (the gold medal).

In the summer of 2014, Chernousov married Swiss biathlon athlete Selina Gasparin, who won the silver of the 2014 Sochi Olympics in the individual race event, and they are now parents to two daughters.