"No threat to others": Russian Olympic champion complains IOC has turned Russians into beggars
Russian gymnast Artur Dalaloyan called the conditions of admission of athletes from Russia to international competitions unfair. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion added that representatives of the aggressor country "do not pose a threat to the rest of the world".
Dalaloyan said this in an interview with the YouTube channel of journalist Viktor Kravchenko. The 27-year-old native of Tiraspol accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of discrimination on national grounds, and demanded that Russians regain the right to compete in competitions with the flag and anthem.
"We are athletes, and for us competitions are an opportunity to show our skills, our professionalism, to compete with others. We are not a threat to others to be constantly punished by deprivation of the flag or anthem. Now these are the conditions: you are completely neutral athletes, you do not represent anyone. How can we not represent anyone? We have been representing our country all our lives. It's important for every athlete. And now you have to be questioned at competitions in a neutral status. It turns out like a beggar: take me on any terms, I just want to. Why? I think it's unfair," Dalaloyan said.
Earlier, Valentina Rodionenko, the senior coach of the Russian national gymnastics team, expressed bewilderment and admitted that she did not understand the reasons why Ukraine seeks to "remove Russia" from world sport.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Russia's suspension from international competitions one of the manifestations of the "perversion of the Olympic movement" that "the Anglo-Saxons and the rest of the NATOs have done." She also said that "the world has one last chance left to save world sport."