‘Team of foreign agents’: Russian Olympic chief about tennis players bound for Olympics

  MOSCOW:  The Russian tennis team wishing to participate in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris should be called the "team of forei...


MOSCOW:  The Russian tennis team wishing to participate in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris should be called the "team of foreign agents," President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov said on Friday.

Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation President Irina Viner said in an interview with Russia’s Sport-Express daily earlier that she would view all of the Russian athletes participating in the upcoming Olympics in France as a "team of homeless people." On Friday, Russia’s top tennis player Daniil Medvedev denounced her comments.

"A heated debate is raging on social media between Irina Viner and tennis players regarding their participation at the Olympics under a neutral status," Pozdnyakov reported on his Telegram channel account.

"I would like to stress that I completely agree with Irina [Viner], and our opinions are fully aligned on this matter," Pozdnyakov continued. "The only thing is that I would disagree with the term ‘the team of homeless people’ regarding tennis players. For most of their time they reside abroad, make money there and then allege that they play for themselves, while criticizing the policy of their country and the special military operation."

"In my opinion it would be correct to brand them as the ‘team of foreign agents,’" Pozdnyakov stated. "This will pose no obstacles whatsoever for them to keep presenting themselves at the Olympics."

Commenting later in the day on Pozdnyakov’s statements, renowned figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova slammed his words about Russian athletes as ‘insulting and unjust.’

"I view such statements as insulting, disgraceful and unjust, when Russian senior sports officials labeled in such manner our athletes, who decided to go to the Olympic Games and compete for their country," Tarasova said.

Earlier in the day, Russia’s top tennis player Daniil Medvedev announced that he would be glad to play at the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris if given the chance.

"I will be glad to play at the [2024] Olympics if I get such a chance. I’ll do my best, battle, try to win and it will be very important to me," the Russian tennis player said.

Other Russian tennis players have also expressed their desire to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, including Andrey Rublev (World No. 6) and Yekaterina Alexandrova (No. 15 on WTA).

"It would definitely be great to play at the Olympics because you only get that kind of opportunity once every four years," Alexandrova told Sport-Express earlier this week on Monday.

Rublev told the same Russian daily last week: "If God wills and everything stays the way it is, meaning that we are allowed to play, if I'm physically fit and good to go, it's very likely that I'll go [to Paris]."

The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be hosted by the French capital of Paris between July 26 and August 11.

IOC’s regulations against Russia

The International Olympic Committee Executive Board convened for a meeting at the Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 19-20 and following the opening day it decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in the Parade of Athletes and also exclude them from the 2024 Olympics overall medal standings.

The IOC, however, ruled that Russian athletes, cleared to participate in the upcoming Olympics, would not have to sign anything denouncing their country’s special military operation in Ukraine.

On October 12, 2023, the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) until further notice after the Russian organization included the Olympic councils of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions as its members.

The Swiss-based CAS registered on November 6, 2023 an appeal from the ROC against the IOC’s decision on the Russian governing Olympic body’s suspension.

The suspension means that the ROC cannot act as a national Olympic committee or receive financing from the Olympic movement. The IOC however reserved the right to clear Russian athletes to take part in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 as neutrals. Later, IOC President Thomas Bach said that Russian athletes should have no affiliation with the ROC if they want to compete at the Olympic Games.

-News Feed




Local Glob: ‘Team of foreign agents’: Russian Olympic chief about tennis players bound for Olympics
‘Team of foreign agents’: Russian Olympic chief about tennis players bound for Olympics
Local Glob
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