Vladimir Putin to attend 2022 Beijing Olympics as Russia remains under penalties for doping

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 16, 2021, 09:00 PM(IST)

Russian President Vladimir Putin.(file photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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Owing to the ban, Russian government officials also cannot be issued an Olympic accreditation unless they are invited by the head of state of the host nation. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend Beijing Olympics in February 2022 as he has accepted an invitation by China, Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia said on Thursday (September 16). 

During a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Tajikistan, Lavrov said, "Putin with delight has accepted the invitation of Xi Jinping to visit the Winter Olympic Games in February 2022." 

Lavrov said he hopes Putin and Xi can meet in person and that Russian and Chinese athletes "will once against demonstrate their high sporting and personal qualities", according to the TASS news agency. 

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The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held from February 4-20 in China's capital Beijing and in the neighbouring Hebei province. 

However, it is important to note that Moscow remains under penalties for state-sponsored doping as Russian athletes are barred from competing at major international events, including the Olympics. 

Russian government officials also cannot be issued an Olympic accreditation unless they are invited by the head of state of the host nation. 

Russia was banned from international competitions for two years as punishment for state-sponsored doping and its cover-ups at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) handed Russia a four-year ban from top sporting events. 

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But those sanctions were relaxed to some extent by a sports arbitration court and were reduced to two years and the athletes who weren't involved in the scandal were able to compete in Olympic competition. 

Some Russian athletes are allowed to compete as neutrals under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) flag and represent the committee. They are not allowed to compete under their own flag, their national anthem won't play after they win. 

Russia's participation at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics 2020, which took place this year in August and September, was criticised as more than 300 Russian competitors took part as neutral athletes.

They brought home 20 golds, ranking fifth in the medals tally.

(With inputs from agencies)

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