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Naturalization of foreign athletes should not become Russia's strategy — Olympic chief

December 24, 2014, 13:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"The Sochi Olympics have shown that we can and should train our own athletes," President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov said
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Short-track speedskater Viktor Ahn

Short-track speedskater Viktor Ahn

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Naturalization of foreign athletes should not become a trend in Russian sports, Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, said on Wednesday.

"Naturalization is possible but it is occasional and should not be turned into a strategy," Zhukov said.

"Viktor Ahn and Victor Wild who were rejected by their (national) teams are a different matter," Zhukov said. "But the Sochi Olympics have shown that we can and should train our own athletes."

Korean-born short-track speedskater Viktor Ahn who became Russian citizen in 2011 won three gold and one bronze medal in Sochi.

American-born snowboarder Vic Wild brought the Russian team two golds during the Sochi Games.

In all, Russia won 13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, which were held on 7-23 February 2014.

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