KT CrossFit Kolesnikov Team Won’t Compete at CrossFit Games as Andrei Fedotov’s Visa Application is Denied

Andrei Fedotov and his team, KT CrossFit Kolesnikov Team, has announced that they will not be at the 2024 CrossFit Games after winning the Asia Semifinal last month. Fedotov‘s visa application has been denied and won’t be able to travel to the United States.

In speaking with Fedotov, he told The Barbell Spin that he applied three times, all of which were denied. “I was given an official invitation from CrossFit HQ. I collected and provided all of the necessary documents, but unfortunately it was not enough,” shared Fedotov.

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With his visa application denied it leaves KT CrossFit Kolesnikov Team without a fourth member to compete, thereby requiring the team to withdraw from the 2024 CrossFit Games. The Russian-based team only had four athletes on its roster and did not include any alternates. 

I spoke with Kamila Takeyeva, one of Fedotov’s teammates. She said that no reason was given for why the visa application was denied, but added that they were looking forward to competing in Fort Worth this year.

“This year, our team is something special. It’s about friendship, commitment, team effort and support. Of course, we could have had alternates from the beginning of the season, but we decided that we would either get there with this team or not go at all. We competed in the CrossFit Games twice before, and it was not a successful experience. We didn’t plan to go there just to take part,” Takeyova told The Barbell Spin.

Takeyova continued, “We wanted to be there with this team. If we win, we win together. If we lose, we lose together. We appreciated everything we get: we learn and we become better versions of ourselves. We will be back, hopefully with these same teammates. This story should continue because it is a beautiful one.”

KT CrossFit Kolesnikov Team won the Asia Semifinal this year, edging out CrossFit Marvel Black Mayhem. Both teams were the Asia representatives at the 2023 CrossFit Games, but with the new 30-team format in 2024, only one team qualified for the Games out of Asia.

At the current time, it is unclear if CrossFit will invite CrossFit Marvel Black Mayhem to compete at the CrossFit Games as a backfill. A request for comment from CrossFit was not immediately returned.

Problems with visa issues are not new to the sport. The most notable athlete, Roman Khrennikov, also from Russia, had his visa denied in 2018, 2019 and 2021 after qualifying for the CrossFit Games. It was not until 2022 when he received approval for his visa. Last year Iran’s Morteza Sedaghat qualified out of the Asia Semifinal only to have his visa application denied.

It can be difficult for foreign athletes to get their visa application approved to compete in the United States at the CrossFit Games. Even Sam Briggs was close to not competing due to visa complications in 2018. In situations where an athlete is struggling to obtain a visa, CrossFit does provide resources and has written letters on behalf of the athlete to aid in the application process, although it does not always result in an approval.

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