Monday, December 8, 2014 - 10:03
Dutch may boycott Russia speedskating championship
Sven Kramer is calling on the International Skating Union (ISU) to reach a sollution now that several skaters have indicated that they are considering a boycott of the European Championship all-round in Russia. "I do not determine where the matches are held, the ISU does that. I think that the ISU should solve this problem around the EC all-round", Kramer said in De Telegraaf. "Ultimately I am a sportsman who tries hard to skate. But if you ask me personally I would also prefer that this tournament was to be held somewhere else." Corendon coach Jan van Veen started this debate last week by announcing that he will not be traveling to Chelyabinsk. His pupil Marrit Leenstra, as well as Ireen Wust, gave the MH17 crash as their main reason for considering a boycott. The European Championships in Chelyabinsk will be held on 10 and 11 January next year. Kramer understands those viewpoints. "Obviously it is a dilemma. I understand very well that it is very sensitive." he said. "Especially in the Netherlands, through everything that has happened in recent months, including with the MH17. That makes it incredibly difficult for me." In an reaction sports umbrella organization NOC*NSF said that they, like Dutch skating association KNSB, are leaving the decision to go to Russia up to the athletes themselves. "We respect the decision of the athletes, because we think that they can make the right choices for themselves. It is also good that the athletes are thinking about this. They must do what they think is right."