Vladimir Putin to compete in Beijing 2022 Olympics as Russia remains on doping threat, Sports News
Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the Beijing Olympics in February 2022 because he accepted an invitation from China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday (September 16).
In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Tajikistan, Lavrov said: “Putin happily accepted Xi Jinping’s invitation to attend the Winter Olympics in February 2022”.
Lavrov said he hoped that Putin and Xi could meet in person and that the Russian and Chinese athletes “will demonstrate once against their high athletic and personal qualities,” according to the TASS news agency.
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The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held February 4-20 in the Chinese capital Beijing and neighboring Hebei province.
However, it is important to note that Moscow remains under state-sponsored doping sanctions, as Russian athletes are not allowed to participate in major international events, including the Olympics.
Russian government officials also cannot be granted Olympic accreditation unless invited by the Head of State of the host country.
Russia was banned from international competition for two years as a punishment for state-sponsored doping and cover-ups at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has granted Russia a four-year ban from major sporting events.
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But those penalties were relaxed to some extent by a sports arbitration tribunal and were reduced to two years and athletes who were not involved in the scandal were able to participate in Olympic competitions.
Certain Russian athletes are allowed to compete as neutrals under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and to represent the committee. They are not allowed to compete under their own flag, their national anthem will not play after they win.
Russia’s participation in the pandemic-delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which took place this year in August and September, has been criticized as more than 300 Russian competitors participated as neutral athletes.
They won 20 gold medals, placing fifth overall in medals.
(With contributions from agencies)