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16 Jan, 2023 18:40

Russian figure-skating duo considering switch to Israel – media

Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin represented Team ROC at the Beijing Olympics
Russian figure-skating duo considering switch to Israel – media

The American-born Russian figure skater Diana Davis and her competitive partner Gleb Smolkin are in discussions to switch national allegiances to the Israeli national team, according to a report by RIA Novosti.

Davis, who is the only child of Russian figure-skating coach Eteri Tutberidze, along with her partner Smolkin are among the most prominent athletes within their sport, and can list the 2021 CS Warsaw Cup and a 2022 Russian national silver medal among their collective accolades following their successful transition from the junior ranks in 2021.

Gleb Smolkin, meanwhile, is the son of the well-known Russian actor Boris Smolkin.

While no final decision as to their futures has yet been made, a definitive declaration is expected in the near future – with ongoing sporting sanctions levied against Russia since February of last year thought to be a key factor in their decision.

It is thought that if Russian athletes are readmitted to international sport in the near future, both Davis and Smolkin could continue to represent Russia on the international stage.

It has previously been reported that the duo were considering a move to the United States national team, though both skaters subsequently denied these reports.

The duo train together in the US and have not yet competed in any competition within Russia this season.

Shortly after the onset of last year’s military operation in Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) instituted recommendations to restrict Russian influence on the international sports stage – a dictum which was subsequently adhered-to by numerous different sporting federations.

However, more recently IOC president Thomas Bach has stated that he wishes the sanctions to have as little impact as possible on Russia’s athletes specifically – while also calling for the restrictions to continue in their current state.

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