Support The Moscow Times!

St. Petersburg Athletes Banned From Unauthorized Foreign Travel

Russia's national boxing team. Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Russian athletes training at schools in St. Petersburg have been banned from unauthorized travel abroad, state-run media reported Wednesday, citing three anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Athletes, coaches and other personnel at state and municipal sports schools in the city are now required to seek prior approval to attend training camps or competitions outside Russia, according to the report by RIA Novosti.

Vacationing abroad is also subject to prior approval by St. Petersburg’s sports committee.

The city had until recently maintained a list of so-called “friendly countries,” where St. Petersburg’s athletes were allowed to visit.

“Not long ago [the list] included Turkey, but then the committee said ‘Forget about it’,” an unidentified sports school manager was quoted as saying.

The head of St. Petersburg's biathlon federation Dmitry Vasilyev later clarified that an approval process had been introduced for travel to “friendly countries” but said there was no ban on foreign trips.

However, Vasilyev did note that there was a ban in place for travel to “unfriendly countries,” which he said was aimed at protecting Russian athletes.

“What are we to do in unfriendly countries? Have our car confiscated and jailed? That’s nonsense,” Vasilyev told the Fontanka news website Wednesday.

The International Olympic Committee banned Russia and Belarus from fielding athletes and organizing international sports events in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

On Thursday, Russia’s Olympic Committee chief Stanislav Pozdnyakov said it will compensate Russian Olympic champions 500,000 rubles ($5,000) for missing international competitions.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more