Face to Face

Face to Face (this was originally posted in Russian on Jan.1, 2017)

On my way from Bishkek to Omsk I had a 12 hours layover in Ekaterinburg

I decided to take a nap at the airport and then go do my pre-race warm-up in «Luch» indoor track facility

And so I came to the indoor track and saw there guess who?

Mrs. Bazdyreva accompanied by her ex-boyfriend

They also saw me, but we all had our training to do, so we pretended like if we did not notice each other

After the practice was over though, Andrey came to me and attempted to talk. I was sitting next to my bag and did not want to talk to any of these two, really

I believe that we have two completely opposite views at the doping situation, and a discussion between us on this subject would not take us anywhere anyways, so why would waste time?

Notice however that I did not name anybody specifically when I wrote my first blog post about doping, but since these people took this all personally then I guess I can call their names here

Anyways, Andrey talked for as long as 15 minutes or so

I just set there next to him and said nothing. I did not want to participate, I knew everything he would say. This one-way «conversation» could easily be cut short to just one simple phrase: «a thief not caught is not a thief», which sounds as «if I held a gun it does not yet mean I am a killer» in Andrey’s words. And this is the position the majority of athletes in Russia take on doping. By the way, when he was saying this, he also gave me a hint that he can shoot well from a handgun (he is a police officer in Moscow)

He told me that he was doping-tested so many times, including the ones abroad, about his training, about his personal records, about his workout today 2*2000m, about how cool he is just overall, about how coach Kulichenko created that doping machine back at his days and other stories…

He clearly tried to make it look like he is a saint and blame others – for example he called our common friend «a needle addict» meaning that he cannot run without doping, and told me that I can take his girlfriend (Bazdyreva) right now if I want to – he doesn’t care

He also told me not to write anything about him in my blog ever again

I listened to him, but did not say anything back

Then he asked me directly: «Are we good on that» ?

I told him that I will write anything and about anybody in my blog

He did not like that, he was about to start arguing with me but someone called him on the phone at that moment…

I stood up and left while he was talking on the phone

Mrs. Bazdyreva followed me and tried to drag me into a conversation

I did not really want to talk to her and I also had to take a quick shower, change, and meet another person just outside the indoor track soon (I did not expect that person to be late for about 1 hour as I learned later)

I took a shower, changed and got out of the looker room to sit down on a bench next to the dressing room at the entrance

Anastasia was sitting on the other bench across the hall

At that moment Andrey and another man walked out of the hallway and that man headed towards me

He came very close to me and started violently yelling at me asking «What a heck are you doing here!?»

I did nothing wrong and I was surprised to have some strange guy yelling at me for no reason. I paid the 250 rubles entrance fee and I did nothing else wrong, there was nothing to yell at me for.

I told him that I just came here to practice and that I had paid the entrance cost.

He started yelling that I am not supposed to be here, I am not allowed here, that only the athletes who live and train here can come to this indoor track, and that I had better never come here again!

He then turned to the cashier who sold me the ticket and to the dressing room attendant and yell at them too asking why did they let me in and told them to not let me in ever again

They were looking at him with the same feeling of perplexity as I was

in fact, anybody who paid the entrance cost of 250 rubles can train here, we were not sure why it was not the case for me

It was later when I learned that that man was

Rafail Rashitovich Karmanov


  • «Luch» indoor track facility director
  • Honorable Citizen of Ekaterinburg city
  • Honorable Worker in the field of Physical Culture of Russia
  • RusAF presidium member 2015-2016

He has medals and wears a suit to demonstrate his importance to others

Also, I realized later that it was Andrey who told Mr. Karmanov who I was. Nobody except Andrey knew me in that indoor track facility and Andrey was walking out of the hall-way together with Mr. Karmanov

I bet it was him who told Mr. Karmanov about me, nobody else could do that

After I got yelled at, I set down on a bench next to the exit from the indoor track hoping I won’t get kicked out to the street because it was -30 degrees celsius that day, and I had to wait for a person to come and meet with me

Anastasia came to me and started talking to me again soon followed by Andrey

They surrounded me and started talking to me

I had no choice but to sit there and listen to them

This time it was mainly Anastasia who was speaking. I realized that she had a lot to say and she told me many interesting things. She was a lot better at personal conversations than Andrey. I even almost began talking openly and sincere with her and asked her a couple questions. I think she was honest and I have no reason not to trust her here in this discussion

Later I will learn that her words were confirmed by the fact that she only got 2 years of ban and not a life-time ban as it was recommended. I hope that she will make her right conclusions though, even though we have a different definition of the word «Right» with these guys

Andrey also kept adding something into the discussion. For example he once again told me his favorite quote: «If I held a gun it does not mean yet that I am a killer»

He added at the end that if I ever write anything about him or his relatives he will slap me in my face

I could not notice the progress here – he moved from the hints that “he is a good shooter” to the hints that “he can slap me”…

Better be slapped than killed, I guess… thank you Andrey…

I am aware that many people in Russia were killed, put in jail or harmed in some other ways just because of their anti-system position. By no means I try to compare myself to these heroes, but I also want to say that I will write in my blog whatever I think is right and about whomever. I will write what I think is true even under the threats from all these guys

Anyways, this was just a tory that touched me today and I deiced to share it here in my blog

Everybody have a good run and stand for what you believe in



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