Today, Russia announced that it will hold a domestic athletic tournament for the over 100 athletes banned from competing in this year’s Rio Olympics.
The athletes were banned after a state-wide doping scandal revealed that several of the competitors had used performance enhancing drugs—even during competition in Sochi two years ago—with significant governmental collaboration.
Only one member of Russia’s impressive track & field team will be allowed to compete in Brazil, while the others will appear to compete against on another back home. “About 135 track-and-field athletes are going to compete. They include Olympic champions and medal holders as well as less renowned athletes forbidden to compete in Rio,” stated All-Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) head Yuri Borzakovsky told the Russian TASS news agency.
This Stars Tournament 2016 is reportedly taking place in the Znamensky Brothers stadium in Moscow today.
This announcement comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin made comments about the Rio Olympics being “less of a spectacle” without a true Russian presence.
“The other sportsmen understand that the quality of their medals will be different,” Putin told the banned athletes yesterday at the Kremlin. No word on what the exact difference in quality the medals from the Stars Tournament will be.