11 Dec 2019 14:37

Kolobkov to discuss boxers' refusal to go 2020 Olympics without Russian flag with federation

MOSCOW. Dec 11 (Interfax) - Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov appreciates the patriotism of the boxers who have refused to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo without he Russian flag, but said more consultations are needed on the matter.

"It is too early to make any statements because the decision [made by the WADA Executive Committee to ban Russians from competing in the 2020 Olympics under the Russian flag] has not taken effect yet. We will talk to the Boxing Federation. The boys are patriots, but they still have to qualify; they're facing a number of eliminatory matches. There is a special selection procedure there; I hope they pass it," Kolobkov told reporters on Wednesday.

"The WADA decision on [Russian athletes'] competition under a neutral flag contradicts all possible principles, although it's in line with the adopted WADA standards. There are grounds for contesting this decision," he said.