Ivan Yakimushkin took silver in the five-mile at the Beijing Olympics.

Then he didn't compete much more last season, in March the International Skiing Federation banned all Russian and Belarusian skiers after the invasion of Ukraine.

Yakymushkin previously told SVT Sport that he knows what he calls "the official" reason why he and his compatriots are suspended.

Can you still understand why you are banned?

- Yes, I think I can, but the problem is that our understanding and the understanding among most people in the West are very different, he tells SVT Sport.

But he doesn't buy the suspension.

- I cannot agree with this, although everything that happens is of course a great tragedy, he says.

He continues:

- It is not clear what criteria determine how closely sports in the country is connected to the state and responsible for its policy?

Why can't I remember a single similar judgment, although there are always conflicts between different countries in the world?

"Hypocrisy and discrimination"

Neighboring Belarus, with leader Lukashenko, backed the invasion and its athletes are also suspended.

- Why have the athletes in Belarus been suspended, it is important to remember that, even though their country is not directly involved in the conflict, probably more than half of the countries in Europe are involved in it.

- For me, everything is just a demonstration of hypocrisy and discrimination from those who make the decisions.

Sports must be united, otherwise the WC and the World Cup should be called something else, says Yakimushkin concluded.