Jelizaveta Polstjanaja has announced her retirement from gymnastics ©Getty Images

Jelizaveta Polstjanaja, a dual Latvian-Russian national at the centre of a row over her ability to represent the former without denouncing Russian citizenship, has announced her retirement from gymnastics.

Latvia has been among the most vocal critics of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and athletes who hold Russian citizenship can no longer receive state funding.

Polstjanaja refused to relinquish Russian citizenship.

The Latvian Gymnastics Federation (GFL) ruled Polstjanaja could still represent Latvia, but would have to fund her own participation to do so.

That was the outcome of an emergency GFL Board meeting convened after Polstjanaja claimed to have been not selected for the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships because of her Russian citizenship.

The 19-year-old, born in Latvia to Russian parents, has returned to Russia and now announced she has quit the sport.

"I officially announce the end of my career, I made this decision a long time ago, but I was able to post it only today," Polstjanaja said, as reported by state news agency TASS.

Jelizaveta Polstjanaja was born in Latvia to Russian parents ©Getty Images
Jelizaveta Polstjanaja was born in Latvia to Russian parents ©Getty Images

"Of course, the main reason for what happened is my exclusion from the Latvian national team, you can't predict anything in sports, but I had a plan to prepare for the selection for the Olympics in Paris.

"The European Championships was my last start, where I still represented Latvia, after August I didn't compete anywhere, I kept in shape, hoping for some kind of decision.

"I didn't plan to play for the Russian national team, because there are new rules in our sport, a completely different system, plus a lot of nuances with moving to another team after you played for the country at the World and European Championships."

Russian and Belarusian gymnasts are barred from international competition because of the war in Ukraine.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion was launched on February 24, at least 6,374 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, according to the United Nations.

It is feared the true figure is far higher.

Polstjanaja has been a World Cup medallist in 2022 and placed fourth in the hoop final at the European Championships.

The Latvian Olympic Committee has denied it prevented Polstjanaja being selected for this year's Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia, as the athlete has claimed.