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Oleg Tinkov Slams Russia’s Rio Ban

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July 31, 2016 – Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, the boss of cycling team Tinkoff, lashed out at the UCI on Sunday for what he felt was discrimination against Russian riders.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

Ilnur Zakarin, Olga Zabelinskaya and Sergey Shilov were barred from the Rio Games because of previous doping sanctions, which meant they failed to meet strict eligibility criteria imposed on Russian athletes by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Three others, whose identities were not disclosed, could be also banned soon as they were mentioned in the report on state-run doping in Russia that was published by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.

Tinkov, 48, was furious with the decision to ban the trio and allow other riders who have served doping bans in the past to compete.

“Zakarin can’t go to Rio but (Alejandro) Valverde and others who been caught on doping can?” he exclaimed on social media. “If this is not political revenge on Russia, what is it? It show again how stupid and impotent that f***ing are. Just bunch of bureaucratic idiots.”

Zakarin rides for Russian team Katusha and won a stage on this month’s Tour de France.