MINSK, 28 April (BelTA) - Unfair exclusion from international tournaments has a very negative impact on athletes, Olympic champion in canoe sprint Aliaksandr Bahdanovich said at the National Athletes Forum in Minsk on 28 April, BelTA has learned.
According to the outstanding athlete, it affects athletes' psychological state in the first place. He faced this situation himself when ahead of the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro the Belarusian canoe sprint team was unfairly excluded from the games. After the Games, the one-year suspension was lifted. “After the successes in Beijing and London, we really wanted to win more Olympic medals, but sports officials did not allow that. After such a blow, it was extremely difficult to recover and motivate yourself for further training. That is why I decided to end an active sports career,” said Aliaksandr Bahdanovich. Together with his brother Andrei he won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 and silver in London in 2012. Today Aliaksandr Bahdanovich is chairman of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation and heads the Athletes Commission of the National Olympic Committee.
At the 2nd National Athletes Forum, Belarusian and Russian athletes and sports officials are discussing the current difficult situation and developing a strategy to jointly address existing problems.