Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting his own series of games for athletes banned from participating in the 2016 Olympic Games.
During his send-off address to the Olympic-bound athletes, Putin accused the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) of “blatant discrimination” for banning Russia’s track and field athletes.
Putin’s send-off to Russian Olympic athletes, which took place inside the Kremlin, included accusations that the IAAF and others in the international community brought charges against Russian athletes as, “an attempt to bring the rules of world politics into the world of sport.”
In his address that was broadcast over state media, Putin asserted that “The targeted campaign our athletes became the victim of included notorious double standards, a principle of collective responsibility and a cancellation of the presumption of innocence, which are incompatible with sport, or with justice, elementary legal norms.”
As of Thursday, 105 of the 387 athletes that Russia named to their Olympic team have been banned from participating in Rio, however, the ruling bodies of fencing, triathlon and volleyball approved all of Russia’s named competitors for Rio.
Archery, badminton, equestrian, judo, shooting and tennis athletes have also been approved, but the decision is subject to final review by the court of arbitration for sport. Russian state media is also reporting that the taekwondo, trampoline, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and boxing teams will also be cleared to compete.
The International Olympic Committee ruled Sunday against a ‘blanket ban of Russian athletes” but stated that, “Russian athletes with previous doping violations or who were mentioned in the McLaren report on state-sponsored doping should not be allowed to compete.”
In what some are declaring a strong sign of defiance, Putin hosted “The Stars-2016 tournament” which took place on July 28 at the Znamensky Brothers stadium in Moscow.
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