15:19 GMT +317 November 2019
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    Shane Perkins from Australia celebrates on the podium after winning the men's Keirin final at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, on March 26, 2011

    Putin Grants Russian Citizenship to Australian Cyclist Shane Perkins

    © AFP 2019 / VINCENT JANNINK
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    Shane Perkins, a renowned Australian track cyclist, has been granted Russian citizenship and now will be able to represent Russia at the 2020 Olympic Games.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to  Perkins, according to a presidential decree published on Thursday.

    "I hereby decree to naturalize Shane Alan Perkins, born on December 30, 1986, in Australia," the document on the online portal of legal information states.

    The athlete announced his intention to joint the Russian national team in February 2017 in order to "chase his dream" to perform at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games that will be held in Tokyo.

    Perkins won a gold medal in men's keirin at the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championship in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn and a gold medal in team sprint at 2012 world championship in the Australian city of Melbourne.

    Currently, the athlete resides in Russia's Saint Petersburg and has already started training, according to his social media accounts.

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    russian citizenship, Olympics, Vladimir Putin, Australia, Russia
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