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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Russian Wrestlers Refuse to Compete at 2024 Olympic Games

    Last week, we learned that Kamal Bey and 15 other athletes have been awarded Olympic quotas after those earned by some Russian and Belarusian athletes were redistributed once they were disallowed to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games. 

    Today, ESPN and Reuters are reporting that the Russian Wrestling Federation has unanimously voted not to have its wrestlers compete at all in the upcoming Olympic Games. This vote reportedly consisted of the Russian executive committee, the coaching staff, and invited athletes. As it stood last week, only ten Russians across all three wrestling disciplines were allowed to compete. 

    The ten Russians that were expected to participate - along with wrestlers from Belarus were only allowed to compete as Individual Neutral Athletes (AIN). Their country's flags were not allowed to be on singlets or warm-up gear, they would not have been able to participate in the opening ceremonies and their national anthem would not have been played in the event they won an Olympic gold medal. This has been how wrestlers from these two countries have been handled in recent international wrestling competitions during the war with Ukraine. 

    During the initial ruling by United World Wrestling, three of Russia’s returning Olympic champions, Zaur Uguev (57 kg), Zaurbek Sidakov (74 kg), and Abdulrashid Sadulaev (97 kg) were not allowed to compete due to their involvement with the Russian military. 

    We will see if these ten Olympic quotas are redistributed in lieu of the RWF’s statement. 

    Wrestling at the 2024 Olympic Games starts on August 5th. 

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