Track and field Track and Field publication called Sergey Shubenkov best hurdler of the decade.
These words are not an empty sound. In 2010, the years of the 29-year-old Russian received in international sports competitions seven medals, including his soul especially warm gold of the 2015 world Championships and victory at the European Championships in 2012 and 2014.
One victory the athlete considers particularly important. In the fall of 2019 Shubenkov won the world Cup in Qatar hot bronze — despite recent serious knee injury.
“I was able to return to Jogging, to participate in world Championships, getting a medal, and for me it was a big achievement. I had to overcome myself, because I was in great pain. Every workout was a great challenge, but in the end it all worked out”, — says Sergey Shubenkov phone sports edition Yle.
However, the celebration of the victory in Qatar was replaced by uncertainty and a chain of events that Sergei Shubenkov, also received the specialty of a lawyer, it was very hard to believe.
Because of the doping scandal, the international Association of sports federations forbade Russia to participate in international athletics competitions. The last straw was the story of the world championship, a high jumper Danilo Lysenko.
23-year-old Lysenko tried to explain not handed over to the doping of the sample by using fake documents. It later emerged that this story was attended by representatives of all-Russian athletics Federation.
In the end, the international Association of athletic federations fined the all-Russian athletics Federation for five million dollars. In the following competitions Russia can put a team of a maximum of ten people.
In the spring, the new leadership of the all-Russian athletics Federation agreed with the punishment. However, the first of July, the day of payment of the fine, the money never arrived.
An absurd situation. Many athletes feared that the conflict will kill the Russian athletics.
“It is a real disaster. A difficult situation was before, but last year everything started going wrong. Then there was the case of Lysenko, and here again. The head does not fit,” says Shubenkov.
The all-Russian athletics Federation referred to the crisis caused by the epidemic of the coronavirus, and tried to change the punishment. However, the Association did not agree to transfer the day of payment of the fine.
“Our Federation was in a very difficult position. Resources and no sponsors, says Shubenkov. — I don’t know why the money for the payment of the fine was not. I think until there is only one version of the relationship of what is happening: if the agreed penalty, it is necessary to pay. The Federation had to report back in March that she believes the punishment unjust — but not now, when the term of payment of the fine has passed”.
“We can become the North Korea athletics”
International Association of sports federations start to study the doping case of Russia in late July.
The country might be suspended from international competitions. That means even clean athletes, as Shubenkov, prior to the event may not be permitted even under a neutral flag.
“The worst thing is that we can now turn to North Korea. To be in complete isolation,” — said the coach of Elena Isinbaeva Evgeny Trofimov the newspaper “Sport Express”.
At the end of June Shubenkov, multiple champion in the high jump Maria Laecken and world champion in pole vaulting Anzhelika Sidorova wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin with a request to save the Russian athletics.
“I am very concerned, I need competition. This is my profession and my life. I have a lot of titles and awards, but no Olympic medals. Participation in the Olympics interests me in the first place,” says Shubenkov.
Olympic dream. Because of the doping scandal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 were only one Russian Darya Klishina, high jumper, who lived and trained in USA.
The rest of the athletes were suspended from the celebration of athletics, regardless of the results of their doping tests. “On the shore” remained Champions 2015 Shubenkov and Mary Lacocina.
The importance for athletes postponed to the next year Olympics in Tokyo you should not even doubt.
“The competition in Tokyo is my main goal, because all the other awards I’ve received. I need this experience,” says Shubenkov.
The ranks of the athletes of another country?
Years of scandals forced the athletes seriously nervous. Lazeschina, a successful high jumper, is not hiding its disappointment in the Russian sports organizations.
After recent events Lazeschina said that does not exclude the possibility of transition to the national team of another country. Matvey Volkov, vaulter who jumped at the February European championship in 550 centimeters, went even further.
The father of 16-year-old talent told Russian media that his son thinks about the change of sport nationality.
Can a Shubenkov make the same decision?
“As for Volkov, everything is logical. It is a very young and promising athlete. Ahead of him can be a wonderful career. This opportunity should not be missed in any case. I have a very different situation. I’m soon 30 years old, so I treat this issue very carefully,” says Shubenkov, who lives and trains in Barnaul.
“Anything is possible, but for me, this option is at the bottom. To change the team to run at the Olympics and return to normal life — I do not want to. I would not like to make such a decision, but if nothing else to compete does not, then I will be forced to make this step.”
The popularity is falling
In the beginning of the last decade, no one could imagine that the Russian athletics can be in a crisis. As 20-year-old Shubenkov, who took gold in his first adult competition — the European Championships in Helsinki in 2012.
Winning athlete had become a sensation. Reporters constantly wanted to communicate with the runner. Of interview requests and the spotlight enough.
“In Helsinki I won my first gold in an adult competition and had his picture taken with the band Nightwish. That week turned all my dreams” — with laughter remembers Shubenkov.
When in 2014 broke the doping scandal, the popularity of athletics in Russia, according to the observations Shubenkov, began to fall.
“Athletics and previously very popular was not. A lot of athletics said earlier in connection with the Olympics, and now that there is”.
Hurdler known for its optimism, has set itself the task to change this situation for the better. Shubenkov conducted interviews with students, collaborating with charitable organizations and holds annual in native Barnaul competition.
The last project was a anti-doping work. Shubenkov shares his views on the doping issues of the all-Russian athletics Federation.
Multiple medalist not agree that the entire Russian athletics tied to doping. Shubenkov points out that this culture is really trying to get rid of.
“Successful Russian athletes are examples of clean athletes. We regularly test, even more than others. In our anti-doping activities, we move on to the next step — pay special attention to the sportsmen of the international level in order to educate on this issue”.
“There is progress, but then there are bumps. Somehow our athletics cannot solve the problems and resolve the situation”.