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Ukraine wants Russian athlete banned from Olympics for mourning dead father

Sports officials in Kiev claim wrestling champion Dinara Kudaeva’s dad died in the conflict in their country

Ukrainian sports officials have requested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) bar three Russian athletes from participating in the upcoming Summer Games, over what they called “open support for the military action” against their nation.

The reason for the request was a social media post by Russian wrestling champion Dinara Kudaeva, in which she mourned her recently deceased father. According to Kiev, the man’s death had occurred in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The other two wrestlers – Natalia Malysheva and Olga Khoroshavtseva – responded to Kudaeva’s post with a like emoji, in a bid to console their fellow athlete.

”These athletes … do not meet the sufficient criteria for receiving the status of individual neutral athlete (AIN),” read a statement signed by the president of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, Vadim Guttsait, acting Sports Minister Matvey Bedny and the national wrestling association head, Yury Kopytko. The three officials then claimed that the three Russian wrestlers in question “support the [Ukraine] war” and Moscow’s policies.

The written address, published on the Ukrainian Olympic Committee’s website, goes on to claim that Kudaeva called for her father to be honored as a “hero.” According to Ukrainian officials, who referred to him as an “occupier,” the man had died in the ongoing conflict in their country.

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The Russian athlete has reportedly since deleted her post and closed her social media page to the public. A video published by a Ukrainian media outlet on YouTube supposedly shows the social media posts published by Kudaeva when they were still accessible. There, the athlete can be seen wishing her father an ascent to Heaven after his death and saying “father, I’ve died with you.” In another post the athlete wrote: “Father, you are my hero.”

The video published by Ukrainian media also does not show Kudaeva calling on anyone to honor her father as a “hero.” Instead, the woman, who is a Muslim, called on fellow Russian Muslims to pray for her father.

Khoroshavtseva can be seen leaving a crying emoji under one of Kudaeva’s posts. The IOC has so far not reacted to Ukraine’s request. The head of the Russian Wrestling Federation, Mikhail Mamiashvili, slammed the country’s officials for “stepping over universally accepted moral principles” with such actions.

“What happened to Kudaeva is such a personal issue that it should not even be discussed. The girl has lost her father,” he told RIA Novosti. “And [the Ukrainians] are exploiting it,” the Russian official said, adding that “compassion” has become a crime for Kiev nowadays.

June 13, 2024 at 10:57PM
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