By Tom Degun

Olga Butkevych_05-03-12March 5 - Ukrainian-born female wrestlers Yana Stadnik and Olga Butkevych (pictured) have failed in their controversial attempt to represent Great Britain in the sport at the London 2012 Olympics Games.

Both Stadnik and Butkevych applied for a United Kingdom passport in order to represent the hosts at London 2012 but neither has been granted one in time for the Olympics because they do not fulfil the Government's criteria.

Problems with their application came to light after British Wrestling filed the pair's documentation to the Home Office last week.

Although Stadnik and Butkevych have lived in the country for five years, as required, they will not be granted "indefinite leave to remain" in Britain, which they require to compete at the Olympics.

This is because a condition of citizenship demands sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK and it will not be granted to the pair for another year.

It is extremely unlikely Home Secretary Theresa May will intervene to expedite their applications before the Olympics start on July 27, while the British Olympic Association (BOA) are not planning to make a special plea to the Home Office on the issue.

Stadnik (pictured below in red), a European silver medallist, had been hoping to represent Britain in the women's 48kg freestyle category, with Butkevych hoping to do the same in the 55kg category.

Yana Stadnik_London_2012_test_event_March_2012
The situation leaves British Wrestling without the only two females they had planned to name in their Olympic team although three of their five male wrestlers who are also non-British born – two from Ukraine and one from Bulgaria – have been granted citizenship.

The issue has long been under the spotlight and at the London 2012 wrestling test event in December, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) President Raphaël Martinetti hit out at the policy of British Wrestling to acquire foreign athletes.

"Athletes have come from Ukraine and other countries, but this leaves no legacy from the Games," said Martinetti, a Swiss businessman.

"In other sports in Britain you have athletes from Scotland and Wales.

"Why are athletes from there not taking part in the team?

"I think it's no good for the country.

"If they don't have British passports by May, we say bye-bye."

British Wrestling chief executive Colin Nicholson has continually defended the athletes saying that they deserve to represent Britain at London 2012.

"These athletes have been in the country for a long period and have contributed to the Great Britain team in an immeasurable way," he said.

"They have done a lot to motivate and inspire British youngsters."

Nicholson has not said whether the governing body would now look to pick British-born wrestlers.

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