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Russia to pay bonuses to athletes barred from Olympics — PM

August 25, 16:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated Russia’s Olympic champions on winning medals at the Rio Olympics and handed them keys to brand new off-road vehicles as a reward
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with members of the Russian Olympic team

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with members of the Russian Olympic team

© Yekaterina Shtukina/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. The Foundation for the Support of Russian Olympians will alocate funds to provide financial assistance to athletes banned from the Olympic Games, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with members of the Russian Olympic team on Thursday.

"The foundation will transfer funds to the Russian Olympic Committee to provide financial assistance to our leading athletes, members of our national track and field team banned from the Games by the IOC," Medvedev said. "We believe that will be the right decision."

"We have no doubt that, but for this unfair decision [to ban athletes from competitions], they would have succeeded making a significant contribution to our total medals count," the prime minister added.

BMW off-roaders for Olympic medal winners

Dmitry Medvedev has also congratulated Russia’s Olympic champions on winning medals at the Rio Olympics and handed them keys to brand new off-road vehicles as a reward. 

This year Olympians’ Support Fund provided the BMW vehicles, which were assembled at Kaliningrad’s Autotor car factory, for the athletes. Olympic gold winners received BMW X6 luxury crossovers, silver medal winners got BMW X5s and bronze medalists took home BMW X3s.

"This is so superb that you took our country to the fourth place in the overall medal standings having repeated the result of the [2012] Olympic Games in London," Medvedev said.

‘Moreover, you have achieved this result under extremely complicated circumstances and amid an unprecedented pressure, which was exerted on our national team, on our whole sports society and on our country on the whole," Medvedev said.

"No matter how hard some people tried, but they failed to foil the Olympics for Russia and you have managed to prove that our victories have nothing to do with doping or other sins, which some people periodically attempt to attribute to us," the Russian prime minister added.

The Russian prime minister also said he was confident that Russian athletes would have more victories at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.

"Our common hope now is for the 2020 Olympic Games," Medvedev said. "I am sure that we will win there more medals and our national squad will be a competitive and powerful team."

The Russian team ended the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, hosted by Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro between August 5 and 21, fourth in the overall medal standings having won 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze medals.

All Russian track and field athletes, except for long jumper Darya Klishina, the Russian weightlifting team and rowers did not take part in the Rio Olympics after they were barred from the Games by their respective international federations.

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