In recent days, rumors about a possible change of citizenship by a promising couple of dancers Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin have been discussed in the Russian media space.

While journalists and fans in different ways discussed the possible marriage of athletes, allowing a partner to receive an American passport, and the prospects for the duet to break into the US Olympic team, the famous coach Tatyana Tarasova urged everyone to cool their ardor.

“If we are now promoting the topic of the transition of Smolkin and Davis, then the skaters who have not considered such an opportunity before will think about not sitting idle for a year,” the specialist said.

However, Davis and Smolkin denied the circulating rumors, and in general the problem of changing citizenship in Russian sports is not acute.

In the few months since the introduction of large-scale sanctions against domestic athletes, against the backdrop of a special operation in Ukraine, none of the existing collections or even promising juniors who live and train in Russia left or even hinted at such a possibility.

To date, four interesting transitions are known.

Pavel Sivakov (France)


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Pavel Sivakov, a hereditary cyclist, the son of Giro medalist Alexei Sivakov and two-time world champion Alexandra Kolyaseva, was born in Italy and moved to France at the age of one.

The future athlete grew up in Paris, and he had little to do with his parents' homeland other than formal citizenship.

The driver got a French passport back in 2017, but then he emphasized in every possible way that he would continue to ride under the Russian tricolor.

Everything changed in March 2022, when it became known that the International Cycling Union approved his transfer to the French flag.

President of the Russian Cycling Federation Vyacheslav Ekimov said that the domestic side could not prevent the change of sports citizenship by the rider.

“We regret that we lost a strong athlete, but we could not do anything.

There is a quarantine for applications for competitions, but our federation is not involved in the process.

Lawyers give priority to the desire of a person, ”Sport-Express quotes the three-time Olympic champion.

At the Tokyo Olympics, the ex-Russian took 32nd place in the team road race.

Alina Kashlinskaya (Poland)

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Alina Kashlinskaya was born in Moscow in 1993.

At the age of six she began to play chess, at the age of 13 she became the youngest female international master in Europe and Russia, and at 15 - an international grandmaster.

In July 2015, Kashlinskaya married Polish chess player Radosław Wojtaszek and has been living in Warsaw ever since. 

The change of citizenship of Kashlinskaya became known in May.

As Mark Glukhovsky, executive director of the Russian Chess Federation (RCF), noted, the organization did not interfere in any way with the transition.

“Alina is married to the Polish grandmaster Wojtaszek and has been living in Poland for many years.

We have a great relationship with her.

There are no mutual grievances and claims, ”the R-Sport official quotes.

Evgeny Romanov (Norway)

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Another chess player on the list of those who changed citizenship is Evgeny Romanov, a native of Kaliningrad.

His situation is somewhat similar to the circumstances of Kashlinskaya, with the only difference that he did not move to Norway permanently, but lived there for a long time.

The athlete went to Europe in 2013 and began to play in club tournaments.

So, he was recognized as the best player in the German championship in the 2012/13 season, and in Norway, as part of different teams, he became the national champion five times.

In addition, Romanov was also involved in coaching - he led the Norwegian men's team at the Tromsø Olympics in 2014, prepared German chess players for the 2016 Games in Baku, and with the Georgian women's team became the bronze medalist of the 2018 Olympics in Batumi and the silver medalist of the team championship Europe-2019.

In early March, Romanov passed under the flag of Norway.

At the same time, he does not plan to receive a passport of this country yet: the changes concern only sports. 

“I was not strongly associated with Russian chess.

Now there are many problems for those who represent Russia as chess players or coaches, and I took this step to continue my career, ” quotes the words of the athlete with reference to the Norwegian edition of VG.

According to the vice-president of the Moscow Chess Federation Sergey Smagin, from a sports point of view, the country has not lost anything in the person of the bronze medalist of the European Championship 2013.

“It’s not like there’s no need to make a tragedy out of Romanov’s departure — there’s not even any drama in this,” he said.

Natalia Zabiyako (Canada)


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The silver medalist of Pyeongchang in the team figure skating tournament, Natalia Zabiyako, decided to compete for Canada in a pair with Zachary Daleman.

At first glance, changing the flag for an athlete may seem like a loss, but do not forget that she has not competed in official competitions since 2020.

After the end of her career by Alexander Enbert, due to health problems, Zabiyako did not find a mate and skated recently only in shows.

According to experts, resuming a career at 27 after a fairly long break is an ambiguous undertaking with an unpredictable outcome.

“If she hasn’t skated this time, it will be difficult.

The show is a completely different matter.

In sports, you have to jump, but jumps are lost first of all.

Probably, he cannot find himself in another place and in another role, let him try.

But this is no longer our problem.

The flag is in her hands, but since she goes to the Canadian team, I won’t worry about her, I’m a patriot, ”said coach Lyudmila Velikova about this.

Notably, this is not Zabiyako's first change of citizenship.

Until 2014, she played for Estonia, and her partner was the Russian Alexander Zaboev.

Athletes missed the Olympics in Sochi due to the fact that the skater could not get an Estonian passport on time.

After that, the couple broke up, and Zabiyako moved to the national team.