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Russia reveals scale of redirected funds after sporting sanctions

The money will be redistributed to Russian sport, said deputy PM Dmitry Chernyshenko

Russia will redirect billions of rubles of funding into the development of domestic sport after the country was stripped of a host of international events, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko has said.

In the wake of the military operation in Ukraine, Russia has lost the hosting rights to numerous sporting showpieces, including the likes of the 2022 UEFA Champions League final and World Men’s Volleyball Championship.

Russian and Belarusian athletes have also been widely sanctioned and prevented from competing in international tournaments, although some sports such as tennis have allowed them to do so under strictly neutral status.

The money that Russia will save by not hosting the canceled events will run into the tens of millions of dollars, said Chernyshenko, adding that it would instead be invested in sport for the benefit of Russian athletes and citizens.

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“The government will make every effort to maintain the elite level of Russian sport,” Chernyshenko told TASS.

“Without fail we will support our athletes by organizing their participation in sports competitions with partners from friendly countries.

“We’ll continue to actively develop mass sports, creating additional infrastructure within walking distance for citizens.

“We have saved budgetary funds as a result of the cancelation of international competitions – the Champions League final, the World Volleyball Championship, the Special Olympics in Kazan, the [Junior] World Ice Hockey Championship, the World Chess Olympiad and a number of others.

“According to preliminary calculations, the amount is more than 8 billion rubles ($75 million).

“These funds will be fully used in the interests of our citizens – the construction of sports facilities in the regions of Russia and the holding of domestic events,” added Chernyshenko, who is a key figure in Russian sport and was part of the organizing committee for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Dmitry Chernyshenko talked up the funding that would be directed to Russian sport. © Harry Engels / Getty Images



Chernyshenko, who was personally stripped of an Olympic honor in the wake of the military offensive in Ukraine, also said that the Ministry of Sport would develop measures aimed at protecting the rights of Russian athletes abroad as they face calls from some quarters for a total ban on their participation.

In addition, Chernyshenko said funds would aid several-hundred adults and children from the recently recognized republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and who are training in Russia.  

On February 28, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes not be invited to international competitions wherever possible, and that the two countries be stripped of any sporting showpieces they were due to hold.

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Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. © Robert Prange / Getty Images
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A host of sporting federations – including the likes of football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA – have followed the IOC’s guidance, while Russian and Belarusian Paralympic athletes were handed a ban from the Beijing Winter Games earlier this month just one day before the event was due to begin.

Russian officials and sporting groups have decried the bans as discriminatory, with President Vladimir Putin saying they made a mockery of the principle that sport should be outside politics.

“Even the Olympic principles were trampled on,” Putin said on Wednesday during a meeting on socio-economic support for Russian regions.

“They didn’t hesitate to settle the score with Paralympic athletes. That’s sport outside of politics,” added the Russian leader disapprovingly.  

https://ift.tt/i1vchDN 17, 2022 at 07:41PM
from RT – Daily news

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