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The Russian Republic of Dagestan removes the name of athlete Yelena Isinbáyeva from a stadium

Authorities in the Russian Republic of Dagestan on Wednesday withdrew the name of Yelena Izinbayeva from an athletics stadium after the two-time Olympic pole vault champion spoke out in favor of peace in Ukraine.

In pictures released by the official agency RIA Novosti, an employee can be seen removing the letters from the facade of the building in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala. 41-year-old Russian athlete Isinbáyeva was born in Volgograd. His mother is Russian while his paternal family is originally from Dagestan.

The Dagestan government had made the decision just days earlier, on Monday, after the head of the republic, Sergei Mélikov, proposed returning the stadium to its original name, Trud (Work). “And in honor of Isinbáyeva they name a pavilion in Spain,” the President published on his Telegram channel. Isinbáyeva lives in Spain.

The controversy with Isinbáyeva began when the athlete known as the Tsarina of the Pole announced that she would resume work with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in September.

Isinbayeva was made a major of CSKA, the Russian army’s sports club, in 2015, when she enjoyed Putin’s sympathies. A rank he considers “purely nominal” as he recalls never having served in the army or serving as an MP or belonging to the ruling party.

As it belongs to CSKA, the IOC has temporarily suspended its participation in the activities of this organization, although its ethics committee finally concluded that it can continue its work, since the Russian company had neither a contract with the army nor supported the Russian campaign in Ukraine. .

“I am a man of peace. I always have been and always will be. “I have always believed and will believe in the best in everyone,” said Isinbáyeva, who received a medal from current Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the time. Those comments have drawn her severe criticism in Russia, where she is accused of selling her homeland for a position at the IOC and her properties in Spain. The strongest criticism came from Sports Minister Oleg Matitsin, who said it was “unacceptable” to despise military rank and described the athlete as unaware of what was happening in her home country.

The pole vaulter won gold at the Olympic Games in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008) and bronze at the London Games (2012) and was world champion four times indoors and three times outdoors. The 5.06 meters that the Russian jumped in 2009 is still the world record for the outdoor discipline. (Eph)