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World’s wrestling chief Lalovic calls on athletes to stop boycotting sports tournaments

April 17, 18:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Lalovic said at that time that Ukraine’s possible boycott of the 2018 European Wrestling Championship in Russia would split the wrestling family and such decisions were inadmissible

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President of the United World Wrestling Nenad Lalovic

President of the United World Wrestling Nenad Lalovic

© AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. President of the United World Wrestling (UWW) Nenad Lalovic called on the international sports community and athletes in particular to show respect and stop boycotting various international sports tournaments, Insidethegames sports web portal reported on Tuesday.

"I would like to attract your attention to a problem arising more frequently," Insidethegames quoted Lalovic as saying. "These are the cases of direct boycotts in different sports."

"This disrespect is instigated by politics," UWW president said. "It is not about one or two countries like before - It has become more widespread."

"By encouraging some athletes not to compete against other nations, this is firstly harming athletes," Lalovic said adding that such behavior also harms "the organizers and the International Federations."

The UWW suspended an Iranian wrestler and his coach in February for their decision to boycott a fight against an athlete from Israel. Iranian wrestler Alireza Karimi was handed a six-month suspension and his coach Hamidreza Jamshidi was suspended for two years.

In March this year, national teams from the Czech Republic, the United States, Canada and Ukraine announced their intentions to boycott the 2018 IBU (International Biathlon Union) World Cup stage in Russia’s West Siberian city of Tyumen.

In mid-March, Ukrainian Sports Minister Igor Zhdanov issued an official directive banning national athletes from participating in all sports competitions held on the territory of Russia.

Lalovic said at that time that Ukraine’s possible boycott of the 2018 European Wrestling Championship in Russia would split the wrestling family and such decisions were inadmissible.

Besides hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup (June 14-July 15) and the IBU World Cup in Tyumen (March 22-25), Russia will be also the venue this year for the 2018 European Wrestling Championship (April 30 - May 6), the 2018 IIHF U18 Ice Hockey World Championship (April 19-29), the 2018 World University Boxing Championship (September 2-7) as well as the WTA and ATP tennis tournaments.

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