Russia alleges U.S., other countries rigged Tokyo Olympics

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The Summer Olympics may have concluded, but drama stemming from the recent Tokyo Games is alive and well.

Multiple officials, TV commentators and even lawmakers from Russia allege that the United States and other competing countries conspired against the Russian Olympic Committee and cheated in the Tokyo Games. This comes on the heels of the Russian Olympic Committee ranking fifth in medals won at the international event, the lowest medal count for the Russians since 1912 according to CBS Sports.

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According to the Daily Beast, Russian TV host Olga Skabeeva took to the state-run TV program “60 Minutes” to say the Olympics were “the clearest example of total Russophobia.”

“At the behest of Americans, the International Olympic Committee took away two gold medals from Russia,” she said.

Skabeeva isn’t alone in making these allegations. Lawmaker Aleksei Zhuravlyov called other competing countries “a pack of Russophobic beasts, headed by the United States.” Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who once accused the U.S. of interfering in Russian elections, said Olympic judges “resorted to fraud in front of the entire world.”

You don’t have to religiously follow the Olympics every couple of years to know this isn’t the first time Russia has been at odds with some aspects of the competitions. In 2019, the country was slapped with a four-year ban from international sporting events because it was found to be running a state-backed doping program. Even as Russian athletes dodged the ban by competing as part of the newly-formed ROC, rumors regarding doping and other activities still swirled.

Given that Russia is still under fire for breaking the rules, it doesn’t seem very likely the IOC will take the country’s complaints to heart. It also won’t be surprising if talking heads in Russia keep this drama going for as long as they can.

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