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Sports official shrugs off latest anti-Russian move

Russian gymnastics chief Vasily Titov responded after Dutch counterparts said they would boycott an international congress

The president of the Russian Artistic Gymnastics Federation, Vasily Titov, has said a major congress in Türkiye next month will not be undermined despite officials from the Netherlands becoming the latest to announce a boycott because of Russian participation.

A report from Inside the Games on Tuesday stated that Dutch officials would join the boycott already declared by counterparts from Norway, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Italy.

All of the nations have said they will not attend the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Congress in Istanbul on November 11-12 because Russian and Belarusian delegations will be present.

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Responding to the news, Russian gymnastics official Titov said the vast majority of FIG members would still be in attendance.

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“The FIG includes 143 countries. Even if eight countries don’t participate, there’s still a quorum to make decisions, this is the first point,” Titov told RIA Novosti.

“Secondly, each federation has the right to participate or not to participate. I’m sad that my colleagues are politicizing their participation in the congress.

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“We continue to be members of the international federation, so we must take part in all events organized by the FIG. There is no mass boycott.”

The FIG Congress was originally planned for the Norwegian city of Sandefjord, but was moved after the Norwegian Gymnastics Federation said Russian and Belarusian officials could not attend because of pressure from the Norwegian Olympic authorities and politicians.

Türkiye later stepped in to host the gathering for the second year running.

FIG president Morinari Watanabe has insisted that Russian and Belarusian delegations should be allowed to attend as they are neutral representatives of their spot, rather than elected government officials.

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Titov, who is an FIG Executive Committee member, is expected to be among a five-strong Russian delegation in Istanbul. 

They are free to participate despite the FIG announcing in March that Russian and Belarusian gymnasts would be banned from all its competitions until further notice because of the conflict in Ukraine.

Elsewhere this week, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Stanislav Pozdnyakov is attending a General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Seoul, South Korea.

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Pozdnyakov described his participation as a positive step towards promoting the interests of Russian athletes as they face sweeping bans from international competitions.

https://ift.tt/ndC5gLe 18, 2022 at 05:44PM
from RT – Daily news

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