Mazepin offering legal aid to Russian athletes barred from competitions

2022 F1 season

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Nikita Mazepin says he will offer legal aid to other athletes who find themselves barred from competitions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The former Haas driver is without a seat for the new season after the team confirmed on Saturday it had terminated its deal with title sponsor Uralkali. The decision was prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Many sports have introduced restrictions on Russian teams and individuals in response to the outbreak of war. The FIA has barred Russian teams and refused to sanction races within Russia.

Russian individuals may compete in races but must do so as neutral competitors. They are also required to sign declarations that they “acknowledge the strong commitment made by the FIA to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine” and undertaking to “not express any support (direct or indirect) for the Russian and/or Belarusian activities in respect of Ukraine.”

In a statement posted to social media, Mazepin did not indicate whether he was prepared to agree to the conditions.

“As you know I have lost my contract to compete in the Formula 1 world championship this year,” said Mazepin. “At first, the FIA, the highest governing body, allowed me to compete as long as I’m a neutral athlete. But then the team has cancelled my contract.”

Mazepin said he is beginning an initiative to help other athletes in his position. “I have decided to make a foundation that will be supporting athletes that have lost their chance to compete in the sport at the highest level because of a non-sporting decision,” he said.

“We will be providing jobs, financial support, psychological and legal aid in case the athletes wish to debate their position. The foundation will be called We Compete As One.”

Sports which have imposed restrictions on Russian teams and individual competitors include football, tennis, cycling, rugby, rowing, volleyball, basketball, badminton and many athletics disciplines among others.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “Mazepin offering legal aid to Russian athletes barred from competitions”

  1. Maybe think about sending some money to the bereaved families of babies who’ve been blown to pieces by the Russian military in the name of your daddys friend Vladimir.

    Maybe think about criticising and denouncing that type of injustice, (I.e the ACTUAL reason you lost your seat) instead of probably the least important consequences of it (I.e Russian sports persons being hampered).

    But then you’d have to admit that you’re only here because your families links to Putin are the only reason you’ve ever been anywhere near an F1 car.

  2. Fair points.

  3. Mmm, probably the first positive thing I see from mazepin.

    1. I agree. Here to acknowledge this good deed in the hopes that it gives credibility to the many criticisms of Mazepin.

  4. The banning of Russian athletes serves a real purpose: to pressure the Russian government into ending hostilities with Ukraine (specifically, stopping the murder of civilians). Maybe Mazipan should show some courage and speak out against his daddy’s benefactor Putin instead of trying to muddy the water with his tears. His actions now implicitly show his support for Putin’s invasion. Perhaps he hasn’t grasped the situation he is really in, to be fair. Maybe he is just simple.

    1. Given how his dad has no problem appearing on photos with Putin even today, it’s more likely this initiative was thought up to feed the propaganda machine of Russia and invoke feelings of nationalism and unjust treatment of the “evil western powers” of poor innocent athletes caught in the middle of this “special operation.”

      Mazepin isn’t dumb, he knows what’s going on, and he knows which side he’s on.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        9th March 2022, 19:14

        @peartree Yes it does

          1. Not to be facetious, but it there is a difference between discrimination and being discriminating.

      2. @peartree Are you being deliberately facetious? It is hard to tell.

        1. @ferrox-glideh it’s easy to tell, his lips are moving ;)

    2. Russian government doesn’t care in the slightest whether Russian athletes are banned or not. This is unnecessary discrimination of individuals based on their nationality.

      1. The Russian government cares A LOT whether Russian athletes are banned or not. Enough to have built the hugest state-sponsored doping system since the DDR. This is indeed discrimination of individuals based on their nationality, but it does serve a clear purpose.
        I would be very surprised if that Mazepin action was about more than propaganda. Neither Nikita neither his father are very believable in the role of the nice guys.

      2. I’m sick of seeing stupid comments like this. Would you rather that other governments carry out “unnecessary indiscriminate murder of people based on their nationality”? Blocking participation in sports is one of the few actions that countries and sporting bodies can take to show Russia that they are doing is not okay, and to try to show the Russian people what their state is doing is not okay.

        The alternative is a much larger war with many many more deaths, would you rather that as long as athletes from a country that show complete disrespect for international sporting regulations (state sponsored doping) get to take part in sport?

        1. Sounds like you haven’t heard about any of the recently imposed economic sanctions. Now, that’s something that can have a real effect. Blocking individuals from participating in sports leads to nowhere, there are more than enough examples in history. By the way, there are quite a few governments around the world whose actions result in people being tortured and killed (including countries with F1 grand prix in the actual calendar), yet there is not the slightest hint of the idea that their athletes should be banned.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            9th March 2022, 19:20

            Banning athletes on its own does nothing. Cutting Russia off from every organisation around the world however, does have quite an impact. Sports is just a tiny part of isolating Russia from the outside world.

          2. Ah. The argument that someone else is doing horrific things and therefore you shouldn’t punish any horrific things. Doesnt work.

            I guess we should hold the Olympics in Russia too and let Putin peddle his propaganda further??

            I agree in that banning sportspeople by itself would achieve little but it has to be done alongside all other actions happenings. Every ounce of additional doubt that can buy put in Russians minds whether Putin is the right leader for them must be done. Each of those sportspeople will now be starting to think about how they could compete if it wasn’t for Putin, however much they will hide it for now.

          3. “Every ounce of additional doubt that can buy put in Russians minds whether Putin is the right leader for them must be done.”
            Why not killing any individual Russian then?
            I hate Putin and his actions, but I’m sick how people in the West lost their moral compass in no time in this hysterical witch-hunting happening right now.

  5. The play on “We race as One” is brilliant.

    It would be interesting to follow the $ behind to”We compete as one” to know who is actually funding this effort. I would guess state sponsored with Mazepin as the face.

    1. “We Coerce As One”

  6. Obviously the money to fund this is coming from daddy oligarch, which came from stealing from the Russian citizens, via the lunatic Putin.

    1. Sometimes a two edged sword has third side.

    2. Tbf, this is about the only thing I don’t mind Mazepins spending my money on – helping out the athletes.

      If only they restricted their help to those who aren’t government-supportung lunatics – that’d be just lovely.

      But I suspect they will do just the opposite and will make everyone swear their allegiance to the glory of the new empire.

      Also, separate point – I have been living abroad for a while, but I have friends and family in Russia and from what I gathered banning sports has gone basically unnoticed there. Much bigger problems to deal with.
      The athletes are probs the only ones talking about now.

  7. This is more or less the essence of everything the world rightfully dislikes about Russians. They are always demanding respect, play the victim and cite laws while being cynical, corrupt and violent bullies with absolutely no intention and interest to keep any legal agreement from their side, insulting the intelligence of anyone involved in the process by appealing to our goodwill when we know goddamn well what they are.

    Congratulations to this piece of untalanted failure of a man and failure of a racer, he played exactly himself. Good luck living confined to that failure of a country.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, but with one exception: “everything the world rightfully dislikes about Russians” I think needs to be targeted at the wealth oligarchs and leadership of Russia, not the entire Russian people. Many Russians (like us outside of Russia) are limited by what we get told by our governments and media, I hope one day we can be rid of Putin and the likes of him and Russia can start to support its people rather than suppress them.

    2. Wanted to reply and accidentally hit report comment, sorry about that.
      Came here to write that you are 100% right.

    3. They are always demanding respect, play the victim and cite laws while being cynical, corrupt and violent bullies with absolutely no intention and interest to keep any legal agreement from their side, insulting the intelligence of anyone involved in the process by appealing to our goodwill when we know goddamn well what they are.

      From the top of my head, there are at least another 2, maybe 3 other countries that this characterization would fit like a glove.

      1. Good for you. Make sure to share your views with the women and children trapped under the ruins of the Mariupol hospital, they’ll sure be happy that there are other countries in your opinion who are just as bad as the one that just bombed them.

    4. I luv chicken
      9th March 2022, 21:53

      @palagyi. You sir, have hit the nail squarely on the head. This is what every Ukrainian knows about Russia, and it’s leaders. mazapin (small m), has shown his true colours, his crocodile tears, by forming this foundation, and deliberate naming to mimic a just movement by competitors and FIA, just makes it more evident that he is as worthless as we thought.

  8. Screw this guy, his father, and their apologists here and elsewhere. Russia is killing civilians through indiscriminate bombing of a sovereign nation with zero credible justification for doing so.

    This is bigger than a sport or a few athletes and is just one element of trying to prevent what is turning into a genocide at the hands of an absolute maniac, it’s so frustrating when people keep bringing up this being “unfair” on a sportsperson… read what I just wrote.

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