Putin Talks Of 'Discrimination' Against Athletes


Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Russian track and field athletes are victims of "discrimination" that the country is "not going to put up with."

Putin was addressing athletes at the Kremlin before the Russian Olympic team was due to fly out to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Thursday, while dozens of the track and field athletes who are not eligible to compete in the Rio Games also attended.
Those barred from competing, Putin says, are victims of "double standards" and a campaign against Russian sports.
 
Two-time Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and European hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov were among those in attendance not eligible for Rio.

Continuing his address, Putin told his audience "your colleagues from other sports powers realize that the value of their medals will be different," because "this victory will have a different taste - or no taste at all."
The depleted Russian Olympic team, including some track and field athletes barred from competing, is taking part in a send-off ceremony in Moscow before flying out to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Thursday.

The traditional ceremony, which includes a prayer at a Moscow Kremlin cathedral, began with the laying of wreaths at World War II's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall.

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