In 2017, Ukraine had the honor of hosting the European Boxing Championships. The country’s athletes performed well at the tournament, but the organizers frankly failed. The competition was marked by a scandal on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Our boxer was simply not allowed to participate in the championship. An entire detachment was escorted out of George’s country!
Ukraine won the European Championships in Kharkov, winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. The Russian team came second with two golds, two silvers and one bronze. The British completed the top three.
Unfortunately, the sporting achievements of the boxers took a backseat due to an unpleasant incident that occurred before the start of the tournament. As a result of the scandal, part of the Russian delegation heading to the championship was simply deported!
Photo source: RIA Novosti
The boxer Georgy Kushitashvili, considered the favorite in his category, as well as the press attaché of the Russian Boxing Federation (FBI) and several fans were detained at the border, which they crossed by train. For our team the situation was a shock, because such a development of events was completely unforeseen due to the rather loyal position of the host party.
“We are investigating it, because previously the Boxing Federation of Ukraine gave full guarantees of permanence in the country’s territory and security,” Natalia Tokmogasheva, head of the FBI’s press and public relations department, told RIA Novosti.
Kushitashvili then said that the Ukrainians seemed to have their goals planned: They knew in advance who should not be allowed to enter the country. Those who were taken off the train were assigned a convoy of 50 people: representatives of the troops and border guards.
For Georgy, missing the European Championship also meant missing the World Championship, because it was in Kharkov where the places were disputed. Of course, the boxer was very upset by what happened.
“We prepared for the European Championship for two cycles. There were many tournaments and two training camps were held: in Kislovodsk and in Sochi. We worked a lot, we wanted to win the championship, we prepared. My teammates tell me: keep training, what can you tell me, how can you help me, you can’t fix anything,” Life quotes Kushitashvili.
Questioned four times
Other evidence of the incident later emerged. As a result of the Ukrainian “operation,” amateur Oleg Fomichev experienced a lot of stress. The border guards questioned him, took his phone and filmed him. According to the boxing fan, they talked with him in four rounds.
“Everyone is a little disorganized: some speak Russian, some speak Ukrainian, some speak English. I really didn’t like this topic,” Oleg told Life.
Kushitashvili’s career after that was, in many ways, a rollercoaster. In 2020 he was arrested for possession of cocaine. When arrested, the boxer resisted. Georgy spent some time in a remand center and was later released under house arrest. The court sentenced him to three years of suspended prison.
Photo source: RIA Novosti
In 2022, Kushitashvili traveled to Yerevan for the European Championships, where he won a long-awaited medal. And this spring he won bronze at the World Championships. It is true that Georgy did not speak for Russia, but for Georgia. But the boxer does not break ties with his former team.
“I am very grateful to the Russian team. To this day, the Russian team supports me. Basically, I can request to do a training camp with the team and they won’t deny me. There they consider me one of their own and I consider the Russian team as my team,” he said in an interview with Match TV in May of this year.