‘My rival wanted to spike me’: Russian gymnastics star Soldatova shares shocking doping details from career
In a recent interview with R-Sport, the four-time world gold medalist talked about the bizarre incident which could have led to a doping ban.Also on rt.com Russian champion gymnast Soldatova announces retirement at age 22 following struggle with bulimia
“We were small back then. It happened in 2014 right before my debut at the gymnastics world championship,” Soldatova said.
“I won’t name names, but this girl wanted to spike me with doping [a banned substance]. Another gymnast, who was also my rival, warned me about her plans.”
She said that she didn’t know how the rival intended to spike her, but “most importantly, I was warned.”
The coaches learned about the incident, but the girl wasn’t punished because she didn’t go through with it, Soldatova explained.
“Generally we don’t play dirty tricks on each other: we don’t cut leotards and don’t break [ribbon’s] sticks, because tough and intense training makes us physically and morally exhausted, so we just support each other,” she said.
The 22-year-old, who announced her retirement last month, explained that her struggle with bulimia made a return to gymnastics impossible, forcing her to give up dreams to compete at Tokyo Games.
“I had a tough choice placed before me: either sport or my health,” she said.
“I wanted to return to sport and resume training, but my body said ‘no.’”
Soldatova said she has enough time for new hobbies now, with figure skating becoming her new passion.
She takes private lessons to aquire new skills and dreams of participating in a popular skating show, the ‘Ice Age’, which was hosted by Olympic champion Alina Zagitova.