MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Germany’s Markus Kramer, who serves as the head coach of the Russian national cross-country skiing team, is currently unable to join the team for the training camp because he was not issued an entry visa, coach Sergei Turyshev told TASS on Thursday.
The national team of Russian cross country skiers is holding a training camp between August 9 and 29 at Terskol, which is located in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, near Europe’s highest mountain, Elbrus.
"Markus is still staying at home as he is unable to join us at the training camp, because he cannot obtain a Russian entry visa due to the novel coronavirus pandemic," Turyshev, who works in the coaching staff of the national team with Kramer, said.
"He [Kramer] has already discussed this issue with the Russian sports minister and the latter promised to render any possible assistance," he continued. "As soon as the visa is issued, Kramer will immediately come to Russia."
"He [Kramer] is in permanent contact with us," Turyshev said. "Everything is in line with the schedule if we speak about the current training camp. If questions arise, we immediately settle them. The training process is underway, athletes are preparing for the upcoming season and everything is all right."
On August 5, Kramer told TASS he planned to join the Russian national team last week at the training camp in Terskol saying: "In the next days there will be a decision if I can also go to this camp. At the moment it looks good and I really hope that I can see my group in Terskol!!"
Led by Head Coach Kramer, athletes from Russia won three silver and five bronze medals in cross-country skiing competitions at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang, although many leading athletes from the team were barred from travelling to the Games.
Athletes of the Russian national team of cross-country skiers already gathered this summer for two training camps, but without their Head Coach Kramer. The German specialist was not able to come to Russia due to the travel restrictions imposed to prevent the global spread of the novel coronavirus.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 20,832,240 people have been infected worldwide and more than 747,680 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 13,726,450 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, 907,758 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 716,396 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 15,384 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.