Hanna Solovey is a Ukrainian cyclist who took the first prize at the II European Games. It seems she should be welcomed as a heroine because she is, indeed. However, instead of congratulations and acknowledgments, the president of the Federation decided to chin her and even started to threat. Find more information in the reactions.
The story started from a congratulation post on the Federation’s Facebook page. A regular speech – congratulating on win and thanking. However, the Federation decided to congratulate not Hanna but… the head of the Kyiv City Federation of Cyclists. It stated that it was Mr. Mukhomor, not the athlete, who brought gold to Ukraine.
Hanna Solovey got fairly exasperated because it was the person who hadn’t been even introduced to her to get congratulations instead of her. Moreover, the athlete stated that the head of the Kyiv Federation hadn’t even provided any assistance during the preparation for the competition.
The president of the Federation Mr. Oleksandr Bashenko started to chin the athlete in the comments instead of bringing apologies or at least explaining the situation. He said that she shouldn’t have even “opened her mouth”. Moreover, Bashenko stated that Solovey would be forced to pay for it, and she had won… accidentally.
While “communicating”, Bashenko said that the athlete’s comment violated… the terms of the contract which meant she “has to be excluded from the national team.” When Solovey asked to indicate the contract clause she had violated, Bashenko answered that he would “shove the clause down some of Hanna’s coaches’ place”.
Naturally that such odious behaviour couldn’t fail to be neglected by the society and the Ministry. In particular, Ihor Zhadanov, the Minister of Youth and Sport of Ukraine, said that the way Bashenko addressed the athlete was inappropriate and coarse. He stated that Hanna Solovey had all the support of the Ministry.
In a while, Ihor Zhdanov also commented on Bashenko’s threats to exclude the champion from the national team. The Minister kindly explained Bashenko that only the Ministry was obliged to break the contract with Hanna. He also stated that there were no reasons to do that with a successful athlete who has all the chances to present Ukraine at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Andriy Grivko, a professional cyclist, also judged Bashenko’s actions. He highlighted that such wins should be followed only by acknowledgments. Grivko also promised to do the best to influence the situation in the way to give our athletes support and protection from the Federations’ side.
Anton Ravytsky, a TV host, believes that Bashenko’s actions are a good example of how we start chinning when having the slightest power over a person.
Artur Palatny, a parliamentarian and the head of the Parliament’s Committee on Family, Youth Policy, Sport, and Tourism Issues, stated that he considers the actions of the Federation’s authorities inappropriate. Palatny promised to appeal to the Committee regarding this issue. The policymaker also asserted that such people as Bashenko mustn’t work in the Ukrainian sport.
Alyona Lunkova, a journalist, supposed that Mr. Bashenko is a personification of the state’s attitude to sports.
The team of the West Road Cycling Club also supported Hanna Solovey, highlighting that such an odious person who spits in Ukrainian athletes’ faces can’t run the Federation.
Reactions were collected by Stepan the Goat who also wants to ride a bike