“I believe that if we start for a year or two exclusively only at races in Russia without international competition, it will significantly affect our sport. It will be a big step back,” said the former biathlon star of the choir, who ended her career in 2017.
According to her, participation in the Commonwealth Cup, the Russian Cup or the domestic championship may be enough to keep the competitors in shape for a certain period of time, but in the longer term the situation becomes counterproductive.
“Some say that if we are not allowed to return to the World Cup series, we will work to eliminate mistakes this season. But it takes about a year, a year and a half at the most, I can still imagine. But definitely not for longer. Then our athletes will get tired of competing with each other, and it will be uninteresting for everyone, including the spectators,” Slepcovová predicts.
After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russian and Belarusian biathletes did not compete in the final three parts of the last World Cup season. The IBU suspended the national unions on March 29. The IBU congress (September 15 to 18 in Salzburg) will discuss the extension of the non-participation of Russian and Belarusian biathletes and officials in international competitions.