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Devyatovskiy on Belarusian leaving podium after wrong anthem plays

Violetta Skvortsova, European junior track and field champion (triple jump) and Vadim Devyatovsky, chairman of the Belarusian Athletics Federation, gave an interview to the program "Simple Questions" with Yegor Khrustalev.

They answered questions on the award ceremony when the Belarusian walked off the podium during the award ceremony since the wrong anthem was playing.

Purely theoretically, what happens if an athlete behaves this way leaving the podium during the award ceremony? This surely happened before. How did athletes usually behave? And, purely theoretically, what can the athlete face?

Vadim Devyatovsky, chairman of the Belarusian Athletics Federation:
I will not tell you theoretically. In a few seconds I got a call. I understand that the organizers did not understand themselves what was going on, and said that if it does not stop now, there will be problems. And I was told that the issue of disqualification is on the cards. I immediately began to call to important officials since we got this gold in a very difficult fight.

And not only Belarusians, the whole stadium supported Violetta. It was clear that the organizers did not understand what happened. It is clear that this is a human factor. But, when the situation was clarified, apologies immediately followed. We did not try to provoke anyone, we just wanted to say that the athlete acted in line with her feelings and conscience.

The sportswoman acted sincerely, she did not want to make any kind of demarche. And, of course, we were heard.

Moreover, they apologized - the Italian side, the federation, and the European Athletics Association. We immediately wrote a press release, which was published on the website, that we accept the apology.

And for us it was important that the award ceremony be moved to a different time. For us this is a huge signal, and we do not need any documents, because the organizers admitted their mistake.

Do you remember other cases when such blunders took place?

Vadim Devyatovsky:
I do not remember. To be honest, I remember there were questions with medals, when they did not accept them and so on. But this case is unique.

Devyatovskiy on Belarusian leaving podium after wrong anthem plays