MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Russian athletes continue to support Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite the sanctions imposed by international sports organizations. This was announced on Friday by the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin, speaking at the traditional honoring of sports veterans, dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War.
“Our strength is in unity, in supporting each other,” Matytsin said. “Sport is different in this, that we do not wait for commands or calls, athletes are always at the forefront, they are at the forefront even now, despite the ban on speaking in support of our president.”
“We cannot betray the conscience of our great country. We will win in all arenas, we have a history that does not allow us to behave differently. We are proud of our history,” he added.
The event was attended by four-time Olympic champion in biathlon Alexander Tikhonov, four-time Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics Alexei Nemov, two-time Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics Svetlana Khorkina and other famous veterans of national sports.
On March 28, the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee recommended that sports federations allow Russian and Belarusian athletes only in a neutral status, and only those who have not publicly spoken out in support of a special military operation in Ukraine and are not associated with the armed forces or national security agencies.