03:40 GMT13 June 2021
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    Athletes from all countries should show solidarity with Russian athletes and boycott the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to ban Russian athletes from the games, chairman of the Crimean branch of the Committee of National and non-Olympic Sports of Russia Alexei Chernyak said on Friday.

    SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) — On Thursday, the CAS rejected the Russian appeal upholding the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ban on Russian athletes participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Darya Klishina, who trains outside the country, is the only Russian athlete who was permitted by the IAAF to compete as a neutral participant.

    "No one has ever been so afraid of Russia that they are afraid even of its athletes. The Olympic Games were created so that only the strongest could win, that is why I suggest that athletes from all countries declare a boycott of these Olympics for one simple reason — this is going to be an unfair competition, as one of the world's strongest team has been banned because of political intrigues," Chernyak told RIA Novosti.

    By declaring a boycott, athletes would demonstrate to politicians an example of unity and show that politics should not be mixed with sports, he added.

    "People who have been spending days in gyms, on sports fields and stadiums, preparing for the Olympic Games for four years, deserve respect, both individually and on the level of a country which helps them reach outstanding results," Chernyak said.

    He also noted, that only those athletes who used doping should be banned from the games, whereas banning the whole national team would be sacrilegious.

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    Tags:
    sport, Russian athletes, athletes, 2016 Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC), Rio de Janeiro, Russia
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