Dmitry Svishchev: “The World Championship has shown that Russia has more than one international level Curling team”

President of the Russian Curling  Federation Dmitry Svishchev in his interview to the ROC Information Service commented on the results of the World Women’s Curling Championship  held in Canada.

– Before the beginning of the tournament you told us that the team could enter the top four at the World Championship. What do you make of the third place? Is this a huge achievement or they performed to their strength?

– The Russian women’s team with Anna Sidorova (the skip) was among the winners at four previous World Championships. A year ago it was second. Therefore, it is wrong to call the third place a huge achievement. It’s a different matter that it was a  new team that went to Canada. It underwent the qualification process in our country, but, unfortunately, didn’t show high result at the Olympic Games which increased the psychological pressure upon girls.

Many people said that it was due to lack of experience. Nevertheless, at the World Championship, in the hardest struggle Victoria Moiseeva’s team proved the high level of Russian Curling. The present third place shows that this sport develops systematically in our country and that we have more than one team of the international level.

– Did you not want to replace Moiseeva’s team, after the 9th place at the Olympics?

– There were so many opinions and suggestions! But we were guided by the sports principle. Moiseeva’s team had qualified for the World Championship long time ago, and at the end of December it won a series of qualifying matches for the Olympics. And we put it because Sidorova’s team failed a number of tournaments, including the European Championship. For many years our team has been holding top positions at the European Championship. Three times in five years it won Gold. Fifth place in St. Gallen is a bad result for an experienced team.

We must pay tribute to the coaches Sergey Belanov and Yuriy Shuliko, who quickly took an extraordinary decision to add Sidorova, the most experienced curler, to Moiseeva’s team as reserve player. Perhaps the presence of such a respected athlete in the team played a positive role.

– It seemed that Sidorova was a member of the coaching staff in Canada?

– Yes. A sort of a mentor, playing coach. The complex of the measures taken had an effect.

– However, in our country Curling is still far from being a mass sport.

– For mass sport, sports facilities are needed. In our country only Ice Cube in Sochi is suitable for holding large international competitions. In Novosibirsk, private owners have built a nice little arena. Moskvich, Novaya Liga, Ice Planet arenas in Moscow are suitable for beginners. In St. Petersburg the Adamant club is located in the shopping center. We are happy for that. We  express gratitude to those who invest in the development of Curling, but I wish the state turned its face toward us. It is impossible to develop any kind of sport without material and technical base. In Canada there is a thousand arenas and three and a half million people, playing Curling. Therefore, 90 out of 100 best teams in the world are from this country (I do not mean national teams).

– What about the story of Alexander Krushelnytsky? How are things going?

– Just yesterday I talked with him and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova. This week Alexander plans to be in Moscow. I have to report to Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko today.

The investigation is actively underway, RUSADA began an internal investigation. Unfortunately, we could not build an evidence base hot on the trail, and the case isn’t proceeding as fast as we would want it to. It is good that we managed to postpone the CAS session date to April 26, because we did not have time to prepare.

This meeting will decide Krushelnitsky’s fate. If we can not prove the innocence of the athlete, we will insist on the insignificance of the incident, on the fact that the drug that got into his body, had no effect on the result. I wish the court took our arguments and imposed Krushelnitsky a minimum, instead of a four-year suspension, or cancelled it completetly.