Russian ski star Alexander Bolshunov becomes new face of Norwegian winter sports equipment giant Swix
Based in Lillehammer, Norway, Swix is the world's leading manufacturer of ski poles, ski waxes and sportswear with some 74 years of history.
Alex Bolshunov, 23, is one of the world's best cross country skiers and the current leader of the FIS World Cup. However Bolshunov, who developed a large fanbase worldwide since he started to win at international level in 2017, is facing a ban from international competitions.
On December 9, 2019 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from major international sporting events for four years, on charges of tampering with doping-related reports.
Russian national teams are supposed to be barred from participating in international sporting events during this period. Most international sporting federations, however, have decided that the Russian athletes and teams as a whole could continue to participate in competitions pending the outcome of Russia's appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Although WADA has announced that it intends to allow Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag, but not under the Russian flag, the move is widely seen as unfair, especially toward the younger generation of Russian athletes who were not of age to compete at the Sochi Olympics.Also on rt.com Double delight: Russian skiers Bolshunov & Ustiugov celebrate success at FIS Tour de Ski
Many saw a symbolic gesture in the Norwegian company's choice of brand influencer as billboards with Bolshunov's muscular frame dressed in a Team Russia racing suit have appeared at the ISPO, the world's largest winter & outdoor exhibition, held in Munich this week.