Russia accuses US of rigging the Olympics

TV pundits and government ministers make baseless claims after fifth place finish

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 10 August 2021 21:53
<p>Russian athletes are welcomed back to Moscow</p>

Russian athletes are welcomed back to Moscow

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Russian commentators and officials have accused the United States and other countries of “Russophobia” at the Tokyo Olympics, after the country was beaten by American and British athletes in the medals table.

Olga Skabeeva, a television host on Russia’s state-owned channel, reportedly told viewers on Monday that the games were “the clearest example of total Russophobia”, after athletes from Russia – which was officially banned from competing – came fifth in the medals table.

The United States, China, Japan and Great Britain all secured more Gold medals than the Russian Olympic Committee, or ROC – a banner under which Russian athletes were allowed at Tokyo.

“These Olympic Games stink,” said Skabeeva, who has earned the title of “iron doll of Putin TV" because of her criticism of Russia’s opposition on TV show “60 Minutes”. “Global sports forever ceased being an honest competition, turning into a cheap political farce.”

Ms Skabeeva alleged that “at the behest of Americans, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) took away two gold medals from Russia”, amid accusations from officials in Moscow of IOC rigging in the rhythmic gymnastics.

As us-rigged-olympics-to-steal-our-golds?ref=home">The Daily Beast reported, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko told TASS, a news agency, that he sent a request to the International Gymnastics Federation about judging in the competition – although there was not wrongdoing.

Mr Chernyshenko also alleged that there was not “objective and fair appraisal of performances of Russian athletes”, after the ROC asked for the result to be overturned in its favour. The Gold was taken by Israel.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, meanwhile alleged on messaging app Telegram that “Russophobic b******s” would not allow Russia to win and therefore “resorted to fraud in front of the entire world”, according to reports.

The spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, added in Monday’s episode of “60 Minutes” that “global sports are in danger” because of the “gross injustice” carried out against Russian athletes in Tokyo.

While there was no evidence for the allegations from Russian commentators and officials, the country is currently facing bans from international sport because of state sponsored doping.

The Tokyo games, which closed on Sunday, saw Team USA win 114 Olympic medals, of which 33 Bronze, 41 Silver and 39 Gold. The ROC, meanwhile, took home 71 medals, with 23 Bronze, 28 Silver and 20 Gold.

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