Russia by immoderate different sanction is conscionable arsenic palmy astatine the Olympics.
The rebranded squad — known astatine the Tokyo Games arsenic ROC, abbreviated for Russian Olympic Committee — easy bushed its medal people by surpassing the haul of 56 from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. The squad was assured of leaving Tokyo with astatine slightest 70 medals arsenic of Saturday night.
That was contempt having to vie without the nationalist emblem oregon anthem pursuing a ineligible conflict past twelvemonth astatine the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Russia, accused by the World Anti-Doping Agency of moving a state-backed doping program, was aboriginal punished for tampering with information from a Moscow laboratory. Russia denies wrongdoing.
Some successful Russia took the sanctions arsenic an affront. Many of the country's critics successful the sports satellite argued the punishment didn't spell acold enough, particularly fixed athletes inactive competed successful nationalist colours.
The restrictions were "not immoderate benignant of occupation for our athletes from the position of sporting results, and we person each seen this with our ain eyes," ROC president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said.
Pozdnyakov besides congratulated assorted officials connected the accomplishment of having nary athletes trial affirmative astatine the Tokyo Olympics, praising them for "fighting against antagonistic influences successful sports."
Two rowers did trial affirmative earlier the Tokyo Games, forcing Russian officials to retreat their crew, but determination person been nary accusations that immoderate squad members doped successful Japan.
Russia had a crook arsenic the aggrieved enactment erstwhile it was announced Brazilian volleyball subordinate Tandara Caixeta had tested affirmative earlier the Olympics. The effect was lone announced aft she had already played her portion successful eliminating the Russian squad successful the quarterfinals.
Russian athletes earned victories successful the men's and women's squad all-around successful gymnastics. Swimmer Evgeny Rylov won golden medals successful the men's 100- and 200-metre backstroke events, wins which acceptable the swimming assemblage talking astir whether helium should person been competing fixed Russia's past doping scandals.
"It is simply a immense intelligence drain connected maine to perceive I'm swimming successful a contention that's astir apt not clean," said American swimmer Ryan Murphy, who finished down Rylov successful some backstroke races. "That is what it is."
Murphy aboriginal said helium wasn't accusing Rylov of cheating. Soon after, the ROC deed retired astatine its critics successful a societal media station with pictures of Murphy and different athletes, saying immoderate were conscionable sore losers.
"Yes, we are present astatine the Olympic Games. Absolutely by right. Whether idiosyncratic likes it oregon not," the connection said. "You request to beryllium capable to lose. Not everyone has that gift."
Rylov became a cult leader backmost home, little for the contention than for his cat-themed look mask. Others changeable to fame for their courageousness nether pressure, including Maxim Khramtsov, who won taekwondo golden with a manus injury, and Madina Taimazova, who took judo bronze with a severely swollen eye.
The Russian athletes person stuck to the rules and deflected immoderate questions distant diplomatically. Politicians and officials, not truthful much.
The president of the still-suspended Russian way federation, Irina Privalova, blamed the restrictions connected the squad for a spate of injuries, including a torn Achilles tendon for erstwhile 110-meter hurdles satellite champion Sergei Shubenkov. Uncertainty astir the Olympics near the full squad "on the edge," she told authorities quality bureau Tass.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a video of herself pummeling a mannequin emblazoned with the connection "Press" arsenic she promoted an authoritative hashtag for the rebranded squad — #WeWillROCYou.
The caller sanction has been bully fodder for puns. An all-Russian last successful tennis successful mixed doubles became the "ROC n' Roll Final" connected the team's societal media.
Pozdnyakov had a idiosyncratic crushed to celebrate, too. The ROC president's girl Sofia Pozdniakova won idiosyncratic and squad golden medals successful saber fencing. Her four-time golden medalist begetter won some events during his vocation but ne'er astatine a azygous Olympics.
For a regular dose of the champion of the breaking quality and exclusive contented from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!