Paris Olympics 2024: “We do not accept the non-sporting principle…” Russian wrestlers “unanimously” refuse to participate in the competition

Paris Olympics 2024: “We do not accept the non-sporting principle…” Russian wrestlers “unanimously” refuse to participate in the competition
Paris Olympics 2024: “We do not accept the non-sporting principle…” Russian wrestlers “unanimously” refuse to participate in the competition

the essential
The Russian Wrestling Federation announced on Saturday, July 6, that its wrestlers authorized to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games had “unanimously” refused to go to Paris, denouncing a “parody of competition.”

The Russian Olympic team is a major supplier of champions in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. At the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, it was the nation that won the most men’s titles (4) in these two disciplines, but this year it will not be the case…

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“We do not accept the non-sporting principle of selection on which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) based its list of authorized athletes and whose aim is to undermine the unity of our team,” the Russian Federation explained in a statement published on Saturday, July 6.

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“Russian wrestlers were able to obtain 16 Olympic licenses out of 18 possible […] under conditions of threats of sanctions and unfounded restrictions,” the statement said. However, in its list of Russian wrestlers authorized to participate, the IOC ultimately only retained ten, excluding the most successful, including double Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev and double world champion Zaur Uguev.

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Thus, “the united world of wrestling has lost its last chance to see a competition between the strongest at the Olympic Games,” the Russian Wrestling Federation said. In this context, the presidency of the Wrestling Federation organized a meeting with the invited wrestlers and their coaches and “a decision was made unanimously,” according to the same source.

“These are not Olympic Games, this is a parody of competition,” Russian Wrestling Federation President Mikhail Mamiashvili told the official Tass news agency. “Unjustified dictatorship of the IOC has led to the organization itself starting to define the composition of the selections. This is already too much,” he protested.

Russians under neutral banner

The International Olympic Committee authorized Russian athletes to participate in the Paris Games (July 26-August 11) in early December on condition that they compete under a neutral banner, excluding team events, that they have not actively supported the Russian offensive in Ukraine and that they have passed the qualification hurdle.

Deprived of their flag and anthem, many Russian athletes have already chosen to withdraw, denouncing “discriminatory” criteria. Others have seen the Olympic door closed because of their support for the Russian assault or because they are in clubs linked to the armed or security forces, in light of the conditions set by the IOC.

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