German skiing coach, Markus Cramer, who currently trains Russian Olympic team, has shares his thoughts on the recent decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has practically banned Russian flag and national anthem at the Games in PyeongChang.
On Tuesday, the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) from the 2018 Winter Olympics, ruling that “clean” Russian athletes can only compete under a neutral flag in South Korea next February.
Former German junior & U23 team coach Marcus Cramer, who took over as coach of the Russian Olympic ski team in 2015, believes that, although the decision cannot be called ‘fair,’ it will provide “motivation” to those Russians who will have the chance to compete.
“It is a very hard decision especially for the athletes, because now at this moment, we don’t know who can compete, who cannot compete. Because at the moment it is not 100 percent clear which organization will decide and what are the rules for this issue,” he told RT.
“It is the same like before with the disqualification from the athletes. Now it is a disqualification for a nation. I think it is not fair because for me they have no new evidence. It was the same in the first conference what this Samuel Schmid said, same as we know before from the Oswald Commission.
“I’m sure in the last years there was no doping, especially in Sochi. I’m sure because we speak many times about this with the athletes and I know what they told me. I’m 100 percent sure that there was no doping system in the Russian team.
“For me, it is really crazy to decide this case, only on the evidence from one guy. I know that the Russian people are very proud of the Russian nation. And I can understand when they say ‘no, we don’t want [to compete] without the Russian flag.’ And on the other side it is also, I think, good for the athletes when they prepare many years for this highlight in their sports career, the Olympic Games, to start there. Yeah, I think it’s really hard to decide what to do and especially for the young athletes who [have] never [been] before [to] the Olympic Games.
“I think it will be extra motivation when they can start to show that they are strong athletes, that they are clean athletes, and hopefully they can show good results [at these] Olympic Games. I think it will be a good sign for the future also that they can show first [that] we are clean, and we can [achieve] good results.