Craig Crowley MBE, Honorary President of UK Deaf Sport says he would still have doubts about Russian athletes at the 2016 Olympics/Paralympics and Deaf athletes in Samsun 2017 Deaflympics even if the country convinces athletics organisations that it should be allowed to compete in Rio and Samsun respectively.
With the latest comments from Russia’s new head coach of track and field, Two Big Ears has learnt from Craig Crowley, former Deaflympics President that the ban on Russian athletics from competing internationally also applies to individual athletes and teams competing in the Paralympics and Deaflympics. Crowley who lead the Deaflympic movement from 2009-2013 wants to see the ICSD Board place ‘drastic measures’ in place for Deaf athletes if Russia is cleared to compete in the future.
Whilst Yuri Borzakovsky, the all-Russia’s new head coach claims that his athletes are now clean, Crowley explained why he has his doubts and echoed the feeling of many who support and follow Deaf sport: “I’d be lying if I said we wouldn’t look at Russian Deaf athletes and think ‘is everything 100% OK?'”
‘The darkest place’
The independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently reported that “corruption was embedded” within athletics’s governing body, the IAAF – whose senior officials have been accused of helping to cover up doping in Russia.
“There is obviously a lot more to come out and it seems to be getting worse and worse,”
“It is awful to see but at the same time you have to think that athletics sport has to go through this really terrible time.
“It has to go to the very bottom, to the darkest place for it to then rise and come out the other side.”
Crowley added: “I believe it is very close [to the bottom].
“You put your trust and confidence in organisations to make sure the sport is governed well – but obviously that hasn’t been the case. It needs to be addressed and it is a huge problem.”
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For a more in-depth examination of the Deaflympics, its origins, politics and challenges read Same Spirit Different Team