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Attacks against Russian sport to continue in run up to 2018 Olympics, says MP

November 23, 11:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s opponents are afraid of rivalry as Russia is the leading sports power, according to Russia’s State Duma member Valery Gazzayev

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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission led by Denis Oswald will continue taking unfair decisions against Russian athletes and they should fight to defend their rights, Russia’s State Duma (lower house) member Valery Gazzayev told TASS in an interview.

Earlier, Russia’s skeleton racers Aleksandr Tretiakov, Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsyna and Mariia Orlova, who took part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, were accused of violating anti-doping rules and banned from Olympic Games for life. Six Russian skiers were also punished.

"The IOC commission has already had several meetings, and the same scenario again - the decisions are made on disqualifying our strongest athletes. This is totally unfair," said Gazzayev, who is Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs.

"Obviously, such attacks against the Russian sport will continue and even reinvigorate not only in the run up to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but the elections in March next year in this country. Russia’s opponents pursue the goal to create a negative background around Russia to influence the outcome of the upcoming IOC December meeting that will decide on the Russian team’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Games," the MP said.

These decisions are authored by "the same people who are Russia’s political opponents," he noted. "They do not give a damn about the major idea of the Olympic movement that sport is beyond politics. They aren't interested in anything but to discredit this country."

"Russia’s opponents are just afraid of rivalry as Russia is the leading sports power and our team is one of the strongest ones at the Olympics," the lawmaker said. "In this situation, we should fight on all the fronts - in courts, in the legal and information fields and make every effort to restore justice," Gazzayev stressed.

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