Russia responds to attacks against ROC athletes at Tokyo Games

Maria Zakharova, an official representative of the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, commented on the conflicts that recently sparked at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with the participation of Russian athletes.

The diplomat believes that the recent scandals at Tokyo Games came as attempts to provoke the Russians.

“What incredible dignity our athletes carry themselves with while going through all the trials in Tokyo. I'm not talking about just sports here - I'm talking about endless provocations, including media ones. That's true benevolence,” she said.

Conflicts between Russian athletes and other visitors to the Olympics began amid accusations of deception and the use of doping.

On July 28, tennis player Daniil Medvedev, twice finalist of Grand Slam tournaments, having defeated Fabio Fognini of Italy in the 1/8 finals of the Olympic tournament, had to deal with discriminating remarks from a foreign journalist. In the mixed media zone, a Chilean correspondent, asking a question to Medvedev, called all Russian athletes cheaters.

“Are the Russian Olympic team athletes carrying a stigma of cheaters in these Games after the scandal and how do you feel about it?” the reporter asked Medvedev. 

Medvedev then demanded the reporter should be removed and said that he did not want to see the reporter again in his interviews. 

In addition, US swimmer Ryan Murphy, who lost to Yevgeny Rylov of Russia in the 200-meter backstroke swimming, questioned the fairness of the competition. However, Murphy did not put forward specific accusations. Rylov, in response, said that he had never taken doping and noted that a rival always had the right to any opinion.