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Russian Cyclist Switches Sporting Nationality To French In Protest Against Ukraine War

Russian cyclist Pavel Sivakov has changed his sporting nationality to French amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sivakov, while speaking to BBC, said he always wanted…

Monday, Mar 07

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Russian cyclist Pavel Sivakov has changed his sporting nationality to French amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sivakov, while speaking to BBC, said he always wanted to become a French national but given what’s happening in Ukraine, he wanted to fast-track the process. Sivakov said he was born in Italy and moved to France as a young kid, adding that he spent most of his childhood in France and it feels like a home to him.

Sivakov’s decision to change his sporting nationality has been approved by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s world governing body. Earlier, the UCI banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from taking part in its event, however, the body allowed riders from those countries to either compete as a neutral or change their sporting nationality if they held multiple nationalities. Sivakov took advantage of the new regulation and requested a change to his sporting nationality.

"The UCI wishes to clarify that Russian and Belarusian license-holders are authorised to take part in events on the UCI International Calendar with their respective teams provided they are registered with a UCI Team that is neither Russian nor Belarusian. Russian and Belarusian riders can also participate in UCI International Calendar events if individual registration is authorised," the UCI said in its statement.

"The UCI Management Committee has decided to introduce a specific regulation enabling Russian and Belarusian license-holders with multiple nationalities to request a change to their sporting nationality without any restriction. It will be possible to accelerate the procedure concerning this measure, […]

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