If Russian President Vladimir Putin were to win an Olympic gold, it would be for irony. In a video link broadcast to the country’s training centers, the Russian strongarm told athletes that he supports “fairness” in sport... despite the fact athletes are competing under the “Russian Olympic Committee” banner as punishment for a widespread, state-sponsored doping program. Putin told the athletes that Russia stood with China in its opposition to “politics and boycotts” of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. “We support the traditional Olympic values, above all, equality and fairness,” he said, according to the Associated Press. Russian athletes are not allowed to use country emblems—including its flag and national anthem—in official merchandise or uniforms. Several countries, including the U.S., have launched diplomatic boycotts of the Games over China’s alleged human rights abuses.
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