Salnikov leads Russian resistance to Games proposal

Wed Apr 8, 2015 3:15pm EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Four-times Olympic swimming champion Vladimir Salnikov is completely against the idea of limiting Russian athletes to only being allowed to compete in two Olympics in a row, he told Reuters on Wednesday.

The State Duma has proposed legislation that would ban Russians from competing in more than two successive Olympics.

The instigator was Liberal Democratic Party deputy Yegor Anisimov, who believes that double and triple Olympic champions do not give young athletes a chance to compete on the international arena.

But Salnikov, now the Russian Swimming Federation President, was scathing of the idea.

"Tomorrow someone will say let's introduce the 100 meters jump without a parachute into the Olympic program," he said.

"The person who comes up with this idea will be someone who does not have a clue or anything to do with sport," Salnikov said in a telephone interview.

"In this case, will we also gather the general mood and discuss all of this? I don't even see the point of wasting my time to talk about something that is so obvious."

Russia's twice Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva and double Olympic figure skating gold medalist Yevgeny Plushenko were also critical of the planned legislation.   Continued...