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Russian racer calls on motorsport chief to scrap ‘political’ demands

Sergey Karyakin has written to FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem in an effort to reverse the current policy

Rally driver Sergey Karyakin has asked the head of world motorsport governing body the FIA to remove requirements for Russian and Belarusian racers to sign a special document before they are allowed to compete. 

Karyakin is among the Russian drivers sidelined from major international races after they refused to put their signatures on an FIA ‘driver commitment’ which makes reference to the conflict in Ukraine.

The 31-year-old Karyakin – who is a former champion at the prestigious Dakar Rally – has now directly addressed FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem with a request to overturn the rule.

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“I’m contacting you as a race driver, winner of Dakar, nine-time-in-a-row competitor of this rally race,” wrote Karyakin in a letter shared by RIA Novosti.

“This year my sports plan has been changed. Our team were unable to continue participation in the World Cup calendar due to the need to sign a special paper for Russian athletes.

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Karyakin is a Dakar Rally star but might miss out this year. © Dan Istitene / Getty Images
Rally star refuses requests to ‘denounce Russia’

“In my opinion, signing this document is against the basis of neutrality to politics which is the fundamental ethical principle which is also described in Article 3 of the FIA Code of Ethics.

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“More than 18 years of racing have passed for me, which is more than half my life,” added Karyakin.

“For these years I have clearly learned that a fundamental principle is equality of conditions for all athletes which is strictly followed by the FIA.

“The duty to sign a ‘driver commitment’ document to be able to start the race violates the international principles of equal conditions for athletes.

“I would be very grateful if you could find an opportunity for my participation, giving fair conditions and cancel the rule to sign this document,” concluded the racer.

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Speaking last month, Karjakin said he was set to miss the 2023 Dakar Rally – which will be held in Saudi Arabia in December and January – vowing that “I have certain principles in life, going against my homeland is completely wrong.”


READ MORE: Spurned Russian racer suing F1 team

The contentious list of demands was initially shared by the FIA back in March.

They state that drivers from Russia and Belarus are able to race at FIA events under strictly neutral status, but on condition that they “acknowledge the strong commitment made by the FIA to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.” 

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The documents also require racers to promise not to “express any support (direct or indirect) for the Russian and/or Belarusian activities in respect of Ukraine.”

As well as Karyakin, who won the Dakar Rally quad category with Yamaha in 2017, highly successful Russian team Kamaz-Master announced it would skip the 2023 Dakar Rally because of the FIA’s requirements.

https://ift.tt/OlCVX8K 14, 2022 at 07:28PM
from RT – Daily news

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