The war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine has deprived thousands of Russian athletes of the right to participate in international competitions. However, at least 204 Russian athletes changed their sports citizenship between 2022-2023, Kholod calculated based on open data. This list includes well-known professionals (European and world champions in their sports), and very young athletes who are just starting their careers.
Of the more than 200 athletes, the majority are chess players : 141 athletes who have changed federations are known from open sources. Among them - Alexandra Kosteniuk - one of the most successful athletes in the history of Russian chess: grandmaster, 12th world chess champion among women, two-time champion of Russia, European champion, three-time winner of the World Chess Olympiads as part of the national team. She will now represent Switzerland.
In second place is figure skating and equestrianism , where Russia lost 11 athletes each. Among them, for example, is the daughter of the honored coach of Russia Eteri Tutberidze, Diana Davis, who was written about in detail in the media. The Russian Figure Skating Federation allowed Davis and her ice dancing partner Gleb Smolkin to join the Georgian national team.
In third place - rhythmic gymnastics and tennis : 5 athletes each announced a change of sports citizenship. Among them is Anastasia Simakova, two-time world champion in rhythmic gymnastics in 2019 among juniors, bronze medalist of the 2020 Russian Championship in ribbon exercises. She will play for Germany from 2024.
On the fourth - motorsport and football , where Russia lost 4 athletes each. Many of them have been performing at the highest level for quite a long time, Kholod notes.
Cycling, motorcycle racing, speed skating, hockey, swimming, rowing, boxing and sailing - Russia has lost 2 athletes from each of these disciplines.
And, finally, freestyle wrestling, athletics, biathlon, short track, MMA, judo, artistic gymnastics and alpine skiing lost one athlete each .
As Kholod notes, the real number of Russians who have changed sports citizenship can be many times higher, since a significant proportion are young non-public athletes.