Hours are already counting before the Tokyo Olympics. Sports delegations from more than a hundred countries have arrived in Japan in recent days to attend a major sporting event. Most of the Georgian athletes also settled in the Olympic Village. Oksana Kalashnikova should be among them, but … the Olympic license belonging to a thirty-year-old tennis player was not approved just because someone paid less attention to solve this issue. What is even more offensive to Georgian fans is that the injustice would have simply been concealed had it not been for the statement made by Oksana Kalashnikova on Twitter.
The athlete, who is ranked 70th in the world in the doubles rankings, says that he will not be able to participate in the Tokyo Olympics just because no application has been sent from Georgia.
The Georgian Tennis Federation responded to Kalashnikova’s statement today, confirming that Oksana deserves to play in the Tokyo Olympics fairly, because the tennis players in the list of the doubles rankings really included Georgians with lower ratings. The federation requested a specific answer from the Georgian National Olympic Committee in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.
Here is what the federation said in a statement:
“Georgian Tennis Federation responds to the statement of Georgian tennis player Oksana Kalashnikova about the misunderstanding regarding her participation in the doubles at the Tokyo Olympics and notes that the Georgian Tennis Federation received a license for Nikoloz Basilashvili from the International Olympic Committee. Despite one license, the Georgian Tennis Federation provided the Georgian Olympic Committee with an expanded list of Olympic licensees within the stipulated timeframe, after which the Georgian Olympic Committee, along with Nikoloz Basilashvili, submitted a potential candidate to the International Olympic Committee. The Georgian Olympic Committee is staffed by professionals who have been serving the cause for many years and are performing their duties well. Therefore, the Georgian Tennis Federation hopes that the National Olympic Committee will perform its duties properly and submit the relevant documents to the International Olympic Committee in accordance with all the rules. “We hope that the Georgian National Olympic Committee will find out as soon as possible and inform all interested parties why Georgian tennis players did not receive Olympic licenses in the doubles category and what criteria were used to qualify the teams behind the Georgians ranked in the Tokyo Olympics.”
The statement of the Tennis Federation was answered by the Georgian National Olympic Committee. It says that the Georgian Tennis Federation, instead of appealing to the International Tennis Federation and asking for an explanation, pointed a finger at the Georgian Olympic Committee.
Excerpt from the statement of the Georgian National Olympic Committee:
“… The Tennis Federation believes that it has sent an extended list of potential Olympic licensees to the National Olympic Committee, which, of course, was immediately provided to the Olympic Organizing Committee in the prescribed manner and manner. This happened much earlier, still in March, than indicated in the federation statement. Later, on June 16, the International Tennis Federation informed its member organization, the Georgian Tennis Federation, in a letter to its president, Khvicha Makatsaria (a copy of the letter was also received by the GNCC) that, according to current ratings, only Nikoloz Basilashvili had an Olympic license. The criteria for the distribution of licenses in pairs are also explained there.
It is an indisputable fact that the Georgian couple did not meet the criteria of the International Federation at that time and therefore were not included in the list of licensees. The SEOC had no authority, appealed to the International Tennis Federation and asked for a license for our pair. What happened after June 16, according to which rules and regulations the licenses were distributed in pairs, it is the prerogative of the International Tennis Federation and if anything is done wrong, the answer should be sought first by the Georgian Tennis Federation.
For its part, the National Olympic Committee is keenly interested in getting as many Georgian athletes as possible to participate in the Olympic Games, therefore, calls on the Georgian Tennis Federation to take adequate steps and, if there is still a chance and reason, to request a license from a higher organization. Yes, this is the direct duty of the Georgian Tennis Federation. Olympic licenses are issued by the International Tennis Federation and have no direct connection with either the International Olympic Committee or the Games Organizing Committee, let alone the NOC. The International Olympic Committee only sets quotas for Olympic sports, and the rest is regulated by the rules established by the relevant international federation.
In short, Oksana Kalashnikova, tennis fans, all stakeholders should ask the Georgian Tennis Federation to answer the question: why doubts arose about the possible unfair decision made against the Georgian couple and what measures our federation took to find out. “
Fighting with the status of the Tennis Federation and the Olympic Committee is, at first glance, more like avoiding responsibility than trying to solve the problem. However, now the parties can not work together or fight to resolve the stalemate.
There are five days left before the Tokyo Olympics!