Sports

Russia says it won’t send wrestlers to the Paris Olympics as neutrals

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Russia said on Saturday that 10 of its wrestlers who were offered spots at the Paris Olympics as neutrals will refuse to compete.

The Russian wrestling federation said in a statement that its officials, coaches and athletes held a meeting and “came to an unanimous decision — to refuse to participate in the Olympic Games.”

The wrestlers would have been the largest group of Russians in any one sport competing in Paris under the Individual Neutral Athlete program launched by the International Olympic Committee to allow some athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus to compete during the war in Ukraine.

The IOC previously said it invited 10 Russian wrestlers to the Paris Olympics and its website listed nine of them as having agreed to compete, with one who declined.

The IOC didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment on Saturday’s statement by the Russian wrestling federation, or why it thought wrestlers might reject invitations they had previously accepted.

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AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games

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