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ISU speaks against putting up on hold its rankings in view of Russian athletes’ suspension

The ISU manages the international sports of figure skating, speed skating and short-track speed skating

MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. The International Skating Union (ISU) stands against freezing up its rankings list for the next season, considering a ban for participation of Russian athletes in international tournaments, the ISU press office told TASS on Friday.

Russia’s merited coach Eteri Tutberidze stated in her post on a social network service last Sunday that ‘it was absurd for the ISU’ to keep adding up global ranking points and awarding winning titles to skaters, while Russian athletes had been barred from taking part in all international competitions.

"ISU Communication No. 1629 regarding World Rankings and World Standings also has a continued validity and will be applied during the season 2022/23 as will the ISU Constitution & General Regulations as well as the Special Regulations and Technical Rules," the ISU press office told TASS.

The ISU manages the international sports of figure skating, speed skating and short-track speed skating.

The ISU press office also urged against considering the ban of Russian athletes from international tournaments as a measure of sanctions or their disqualification because this move was aimed at preserving the safety and integrity of tournaments.

"The original and the replacement decisions in ISU Communication… are neither a sanction or other disciplinary measure, nor an ineligibility decision, but have been taken exclusively in the interests of protection of the safety of participants and integrity of the competitions," the ISU said in a statement to TASS.

The international federation also added that its decision regarding the suspension of skaters from Russia and Belarus "has a continued validity."

Reached by a TASS correspondent, world’s legendary figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova said the global skating body, ISU, is being sly stating that the ban regarding Russian and Belarusian athletes cannot be considered as part of sanctions.

"They are trying to wiggle out; there is no sense of taking care about us, but we can take care of ourselves," Tarasova said. "Nothing threatens our athletes and if there is some sort of a threat and it is up to organizers of international competitions to take care of it, to attract more people to keep up with the set order of regulations."

"What else there is to say? These are the authentic sanctions that we are face with," Tarasova added.

On March 1, the International Skating Union announced a decision to provisionally suspend all athletes from Russia and Belarus. The suspension was enforced in regard to figure skating, speed skating and short-track speed skating competitions.

In early June, the International Skating Union (ISU) decided at its Congress to extend the suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions until further notice.

On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, referring to a special military operation in Ukraine.

Following the IOC recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.