Moscow, Aug 26 (IANS) Russian athletes banned from the Rio Games will be provided financial assistance, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said at a meeting with members the country’s Olympics team.
“The foundation will transfer funds to the Russian Olympic Committee to provide financial assistance to our leading athletes, members of our national track and field team banned from the Games by the IOC,” Medvedev said on Thursday, reports Tass.
“We believe that will be the right decision. We have no doubt that, but for this unfair decision (to ban athletes from competitions), they would have succeeded making a significant contribution to our total medals count,” the Prime Minister added.
Medvedev congratulated Russian athletes who won medals at the Olympics and handed them keys to brand new off-road vehicles as a reward.
This year Olympians’ Support Fund provided the BMW vehicles for the athletes. Olympic gold winners received BMW X6 luxury models, silver medal winners got BMW X5s and bronze medallists took home BMW X3s.
“This is so superb that you took our country to the fourth place in the overall medal standings having repeated the result of the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” Medvedev said.
“Moreover, you have achieved this result under extremely complicated circumstances and amid an unprecedented pressure, which was exerted on our national team, on our whole sports society and on our country.
“No matter how hard some people tried, but they failed to foil the Olympics for Russia and you have managed to prove that our victories have nothing to do with doping or other sins, which some people periodically attempt to attribute to us,” he added.
Medvedev also said he was confident that Russian athletes would have more victories at the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
“Our common hope now is for the 2020 Olympic Games,” Medvedev said.
“I am sure that we will win there more medals and our national squad will be a competitive and powerful team.”
Russia ended 2016 Rio Games fourth in the overall medal standings having won 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze.
All Russian track and field athletes, except for long jumper Darya Klishina, the Russian weightlifting team and rowers, were barred from the Games by their respective international federations.