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    Belarusian Deputy Minister of Sport and Tourism: We felt at home in Baku - INTERVIEW

    Alexander Dubkovsky: If strongest athletes do not participate in the Olympics, then what kind of competition can we talk about?!

    Minsk. 5 August. REPORT.AZ/ Report News Agency presents an interview with Deputy Minister of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Dubkovsky.

    - What can you tell us about the 2016 ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships held in Minsk?

    - In order to carry out the Championships, Organizing Committee was created in our country. It was headed by a member of the government, Minister of Sport and Tourism of Belarus, Alexander Shamko. Certainly, all services were involved to the organization process. In advance we made sure that the countries, which need visas had been granted the fee payment to arrive in Belarus. All the guests came to our country for free at the expense of the visa fee.

    Everything has been thought out logistics, accommodation. Naturally, everything was done beforehand. The only thing that could not have time to do - was putting slipways for kayaks and canoes, but we pitched a temporary tent. The water area of the championships meets all modern requirements. We have seen that the performance of our team did not disappoint us, we were preparing for the championships at home. Our team is well-made.

    - How the scandal with removal of main national rowing team on kayaks and canoes Belarus from the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio in the context of doping affected the organisation of the championships in Minsk?

    - Nothing happened. Everything runs in a normal mode. We have a strong sediment, we are deeply outraged by the decision and conduct of the International Canoe Federation, as there are no grounds for such decisions. What most angers us: Our team is performing well, and Federation demonstrates quite unfair decision, when they try to discredit the strongest country in the world in the sport, make them not eligible to compete for unjustified reasons. I think that those officials who approved such a decision will not be forgiven. Their excuses will not be accepted by our side.

    - Are you sure that the Belarusian kayakers and canoeists will participate in the 2016 Olympics?

    - Olympics cupped in the long run. If strongest athletes do not participate in the Olympics, then what kind of competition can we talk about?! I must say that there is no disqualification, but suspension. Thus, only the athletes of the second or third grade will participate in the Olympics. The fact that the International Federation was given the right of repurchase is also wrong, because all the criteria have been previously installed. Athletes were denied the right to participate in the Olympics. No sanctions for disqualification made. And in fact, then there is a decision of executive committee of the International Federation to suspend our athletes to participate in the Olympics. Is there any fair framework to address this issue and any system of selection?! I have no other words. This damages the Olympic movement and sport. I fear that these trends will continue also after the Olympics.

    - Whether the Olympic Committee of Belarus has a possibility to withdraw from the Olympic movement in this case?

    - Of course, we will not take such steps. We will try to still help in the international system, including in legal terms, that this situation is not repeated in the future with other countries. But we, of course, will do it in concert with all other countries. It is first necessary, of course, to initiate us, because we have suffered from such unfair decisions.

    - Azerbaijan also suffers from similar decisions. Our weightlifting team excluded from participation in the Olympics. A similar problem exists in Russia and Kazakhstan. Do not you think that this matter has a political subtext?

    - Absolutely right. The whole process is managed by a group of people that is interested in making such decisions. Decisions are against the results, obviously. Therefore, some other conclusions can not be made. But it does not mean that such decisions will be made by the leaders of those countries that are international officials to the ICF (International Federation of Rowing and Canoe), or any other federation. It is still associated with the policy. Naturally, it is output to the level of heads of states, which, of course, also aware that their representatives are not allowed for unknown reasons to participate in the main sport that starts each four years. Look, what an injustice to the country's citizens who do not understand what they are guilty, and they can not participate in the competition.

    - How do you evaluate the relations between Azerbaijan and Belarus in the field of sport?

    - I think that our relations are good and are constantly evolving. Recent European games were well conducted, good prepared in Baku. We felt at home. The questions that arose in our team were promptly resolved. We cooperate within the framework of the CIS Council. Always as if we are together, it is necessary to expand cooperation. I believe that we have great prospects. Sport is very rapidly developing and we have to go together to become stronger. We have a chance to stand up for justice.

    - How do you feel about the idea of holding the second European game in Minsk?

    - Baku bar was raised so high that it would be wrong to organize them below this level. So everything was well organized.

    - 2019 European Junior Olympic Festival will be held in Minsk. Are there any plans to host the Olympics in the country?

    - Now it is difficult to talk about this, but the whole thing comes to a complete tightening. We do not have enough stadiums for football. Now we set to liberalize the system of training for the games of candidates-participants. Possible the Olympics somewhere, along with Russia, possible also with Poland. It is necessary the presence of Olympic facilities for such a sporting event.

    - In Azerbaijan, as in Belarus, there are some problems in football. Even if there is a progress on club level, at the level of the team it is not felt. What do you think, what are the reasons for this?

    - We can not play football. We did not have such serious traditions. Soviet School remained and we can not continue to grow, but will continue to work. We have a football academy on the basis of the Olympic Reserve School, where we try to create teams of different age categories. While we are trying to concentrate on the main part in the championship.

    - Maybe it is some related with the leadership of the Federation?

    - No, why. Management is preparing a team, it creates conditions. They are available, we do not need more. In case of more money, the team will not play better. There should be a system of training, which should work. Until we create the conditions, the system does not give results.

    - Official Baku has twice applied for holding the Olympic Games at home. However, Minsk in all that time did not. What is the reason?

    - No, of course, we did not submit bids. We have no such plans. We plan 2019 European Junior Olympic Festival. Such competition will help us to check readiness for the Olympic Games. It's early to speak about such future plans, like the Olympics. 

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