Jelizaveta Polstjanaja has represented Latvia in international competition since 2018 ©Getty Images

The Latvian Olympic Committee (LOK) has denied gymnast Jelizaveta Polstjanaja's claim that it gave the athlete an ultimatum of renouncing her Russian citizenship or not being able to represent the country.

Jelizaveta Polstjanaja, who was born in Latvia but lived and trained in Russia until earlier this year, said in an Instagram post lamenting that she apparently would not be appearing at the World Championships in Sofia next month that the situation was "terribly disappointing, as if half of you were destroyed", and went on to blame the LOK.

The LOK has denied that it demanded Polstjanaja give up her Russian citizenship to be able to represent the country, however.

It instead pointed out that the Latvian Olympic Unit (LOU), a different body which oversees funding for athletes from the state budget, is not able to provide funds to athletes who hold dual Russian citizenship under Latvian law.

The LOK says even if Polstjanaja is not able to receive funding from the LOU, it is up to the Latvian Gymnastics Federation to decide whether or not the athlete can represent Latvia in international competition.

The Latvian Olympic Committee disputes Jelizaveta Polstjanaja's account ©Getty Images
The Latvian Olympic Committee disputes Jelizaveta Polstjanaja's account ©Getty Images

A Board meeting is understood to have been called by the Latvian Gymnastics Federation to discuss the issue.

It did acknowledge that a letter had been sent to Polstjanaja by the LOU to enquire about whether or not she planned to relinquish her Russian citizenship, given it would directly impact her eligibility for funding.

Biathlete Edgars Mise was in the same position and has renounced his Russian citizenship. 

The 19-year-old Polstjanaja has been a World Cup medallist in 2022 and placed fourth in the hoop final at the European Championships.