Russia's explosive claims that America 'rigged' Tokyo Olympics

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·Sports Editor
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Angelina Melnikova and Dina Averina, pictured here at the Tokyo Olympics.
Angelina Melnikova and Dina Averina both had to settle for lower medals. Image: Getty

Russian officials have made extraordinary claims that America and other high-powered countries rigged the Tokyo Olympics against them.

Russia wasn't officially competing at the Tokyo Games, however Russian athletes were still allowed to compete as the Russian Olympic Committee.

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Russia is banned from all international competitions until 2022 due to state-sanctioned doping, however the IOC decided that clean athletes deserved the chance to compete in Tokyo.

The Russian Olympic Committee finished with 20 gold medals in Tokyo, as well as 28 silver and 23 bronze, coming in fifth on the medal tally.

It marked their lowest finish since the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, and officials are not happy.

According to a report from the Daily Beast, Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation president Irina Viner-Usmanova claimed: “This outcome was planned in advance."

Russian lawmaker Aleksei Zhuravlyov said other countries at the Olympics were "a pack of Russophobic beasts, headed by the United States."

Olga Skabeeva, a TV host for a state-owned television channel, said the Tokyo Games were the "clearest example of total Russophobia."

"These Olympic Games stink," Skabeeva said. "Global sports forever ceased being an honest competition, turning into a cheap political farce. 

"At the behest of Americans, the International Olympic Committee took away two gold medals from Russian."

Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, said: “Americans are freaks. Moral freaks. Why are we even discussing this parade of freaks and perverts?”

Dina Averina and Linoy Ashram, pictured here after the individual all-around competition.
Dina Averina (L) won silver behind Linoy Ashram (centre) in the individual all-around competition. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Russia rages over gymnastics silver medal

The source of most of Russia's anger stems from the silver medal won by Dina Averina, who was beaten for gold by Israel’s Linoy Ashram in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around competition.

It was the first time a Russian athlete hadn't won gold in the event since 1996.

The Russian Olympic Committee protested the decision because Ashram dropped her ribbon at the end of her routine, which Averina also did when she won gold at the 2018 world championships.

"I don't feel that it was fair today and it was obvious from the very first apparatus when... I got a lower score, so I can't say that it was very fair," said Averina.

"I can't spot any obvious mistake that I did. I was pretty consistent and clean compared to Linoy who lost the apparatus."

Angelina Melnikova and Dina Averina, pictured here in action at the Tokyo Olympics.
Angelina Melnikova and Dina Averina were gold medal fancies who missed out. Image: Getty

Viner-Usmanova described the result as 'egregiously unjust'.

“Dina didn’t lose, she won. But unfortunately the judging was egregiously unjust,” she told the Kremlin-supported RT channel.

“It was simply a disgrace to rhythmic gymnastics. Enough, they got tired of Russia. And the judges decided to support this Israeli woman.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the judges committed "fraud in front of the whole world."

“Those who started the Russophobic war against the sport could not allow this victory,” she said.

Russian ballerina Svetlana Zakharova described the result as "banditry" and "unbelievably biased and unfair", while RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said there was a “massacre of our gymnasts by judges from different countries”.

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