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Russian Olympic Committee secretary general Davydova reported to have fled country

Anastasia Davydova, the secretary general of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and a five-time Olympic gold medallist, has fled the country, according to state media.

Davydova’s departure from Russia comes in the wake of a partial mobilisation of military reserves to fight in the war in Ukraine and the Ministry of Sports ordering national governing bodies to suspend training camps abroad.

State-run news agency TASS reports that Davydova notified staff at her artistic swimming base in Moscow that she has no plans to return to Russia.

Russia’s head synchronised swimming coach also told TASS that Davydova had left the country.

The ROC says Davydova has not resigned as secretary general.

Davydova took on that role following a distinguished career as an athlete.

Davydova’s five Olympic gold medals – won at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 – is a tally bettered only by compatriot Svetlana Romashina.

While the International Olympic Committee has recommended that Russian athletes and national teams be banned from international competition because of the war in Ukraine, the ROC has not been suspended.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has been a staunch supporter of the war in Ukraine and last week said athletes should be honoured were they called up to fight.

Long lines have been reported at Russian land borders with Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia following President Vladimir Putin’s escalation of the war effort.

There has also been high demand for flights out of the country, with people fearing either that they could be ordered to fight or a decree put in place preventing men of fighting age from leaving Russia.

Source: Inside the games