Russian wrestlers refuse to go to Paris

Russian wrestlers refuse to go to Paris
Russian wrestlers refuse to go to Paris

The Russian Wrestling Federation has announced that its athletes will not participate in the Paris Olympics, citing “unfounded restrictions.”

Russia is less and less represented at the 2024 Olympic Games. The Russian Wrestling Federation indicated on Saturday, July 6, that its wrestlers selected for the Games had “unanimously” refused to go to Paris. They denounce a “parody of competition.”

“Unfounded restrictions”

The decision was based on the conditions for participation in the Olympic Games by Russian athletes set by the International Olympic Committee. The latter authorized Russian athletes to participate in the Games, provided 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. Rules that did not please the Russian Wrestling Federation, which explained in a press release that, “Russian wrestlers were able to obtain 16 Olympic licenses out of 18 possible (…) under conditions of threats, sanctions and unfounded restrictions.”

But that’s not all. In the list of wrestlers authorized to participate in the Games, the International Olympic Committee ultimately selected only ten, excluding the most successful, including double Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev and double world champion Zaur Uguev.

In response to this announcement, the presidency of the Russian Wrestling Federation decided to bring together the invited wrestlers and their coaches, and a “decision was taken unanimously.” In the same statement, it explained: “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 president of the Federation, Mikhail Mamiashvili, also explained: “Unjustified dictatorship of the IOC has led to the fact that this organization has started to define the composition of the selections itself. This is already too much.”

Russian athletes withdraw

In addition to the wrestlers, many Russian athletes have chosen to withdraw from the Olympics, deeming the rules set by the Committee too “discriminatory.” Others have had no choice but to withdraw, because of their support for the Russian assault, or because they train in clubs linked to the armed or security forces.

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