What an incredible statement! In the debate about Russia’s Olympic participation in Paris 2024, the head of the Russian Wrestling Federation has drastically threatened with tanks. “If they want to see us as a team of refugees at the Olympic Games, then we have to go to Paris on tanks,” said Mikhail Mamiashvili (59) in an interview.
There is no other option, added FA President Mamiashvili (born in Ukraine). The IOC has not yet commented on the statement made by the Olympic champion (who won gold in Seoul in 1988).
His threat itself is a response to a proposal by Poland’s Sports and Tourism Minister, Kamil Bortniczuk, to select a refugee team to compete at the 2024 Olympics. Dissidents from Russia and Belarus could then compete there.
Russian refugees at the 2024 Olympics in Paris?
In contrast to Mamiashvili, other sports officials from Russia are reluctant to comment. The formation of such a refugee pool is not an official proposal from the International Olympic Committee, so it is “not particularly correct” to comment on it, said State Duma deputy and former Olympic speed skating champion Svetlana Shurova.
Because of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine Russian athletes were banned from international competitions. However, the IOC has already cleared the way for athletes from Russia and Belarus to be reinstated. The responsible world associations must decide in each case. The IOC has not yet decided on a starting right for the Olympics in Paris.