Russian champion refuses to play for Russia and takes Uzbek citizenship
Russian cycling champion Nikita Tsvetkov has taken Uzbek sports citizenship. In April 2022, the 18-year-old won the Russian national championship in group mountain racing, and in August he won gold at the country's junior national championship in team road race.
Nikita Tsvetkov will represent his new country at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Irakli Abramyan, the head coach of the Russian national road cycling team, said that Tsvetkov's departure was not "some kind of huge loss" for the team. According to Abramyan, Tsvetkov was not a leader among cyclists of his age.
"But on the other hand, when young athletes leave, it is bad for our sport," Abramyan told TASS.
In June 2023, the athlete competed for Uzbekistan at the Asian Cycling Championships in Malaysia, where he took fifth place in the madison and sixth in the team pursuit.