The woman in the photo up top, Zhanna Abdulian, will hardly be known by any of you, of the many insiders who read this newsletter. It’s May 2019 and she’s dressed in a folkloric Russian military uniform at the Victory Day presentation. At the time, she was still working for the Russian Boxing Federation. Now, at a time when any athlete with similar connections is banned from sport because of Russia’s war on Ukraine, she is director of the leading international sports politics media outlet Insidethegames.
In 2019, Zhanna Abdulian was informally a personal assistant to Umar Kremlev; she also served as the head of the Russian federation's international relations department. Kremlev became, as you all know, president of the International Boxing Association (IBA), with much more than a little help of the Kremlin and Gazprom. Kremlev is a loyal servant of Vladimir Putin.
And this is a problem for all sides: for the public, for journalism and for organised sport. Because Insidethegames has ceased to exist as a reputable media as of today.