More than 100 Russian athletes have changed their sports citizenship since the beginning of 2022, Deputy Minister of Sports of Russia Alexey Morozov said at a meeting of the department’s board.
“55 Russian athletes from Olympic sports moved to other countries and national teams. If we take non-Olympic sports, this figure has exceeded 100,” the official said.
Morozov said that “some countries behave incorrectly” when inviting Russian athletes.
The Kholod publication previously calculated that 204 Russian athletes have changed or are planning to change their sports citizenship. Most athletes do not publicly report this; such decisions become known when they go through the registration procedure.
Russian athletes began to change their sports citizenship after international federations, due to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, banned Russian representatives from participating in international competitions in biathlon, volleyball, swimming, figure skating, speed skating and other sports.
In March 2022, the International Olympic Committee allowed athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in the Olympics under a neutral flag if they did not support the war in Ukraine, did not violate the World Anti-Doping Code, and do not have contracts with the army or state security agencies.
This year, Russian and Belarusian athletes were also allowed to participate in competitions in a neutral status by the International Aquatics Federation and the International Gymnastics Federation.