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The boxing world is furious: expelled Russian athletes find refuge in Serbian national team Sports

The continental championships have been held 44 times since 1925, with 219 boxers from 39 countries competing for medals in thirteen weight categories.

Representatives of the Russian Federation and Belarus should not have been excluded from all international competitions in the European Championship, but it seems that the representatives of the state of Vladimir Putin, who started the war in Ukraine, are still finding ways to appear on the big boxing scene.

It will be recalled that on March 4. The Board of Directors of the International Boxing Federation (IBA) has decided, in accordance with the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), that athletes, judges and other personnel from the Russian and Belarusian federations will not be allowed to participate in or be invited to any IBA international competitions and tournaments. All tournaments held in these countries have also been canceled.

The European Boxing Confederation (EUBC), which is part of the IBA, is responsible for organizing competitions in the Old Continent, so decisions made by the parent organization also apply to its tournaments.

But at Karen Demirchyan’s sports complex last week, Russian was heard loudly. Not a single boxer who has represented Russia in the past climbed into the ring, and a whole group of the country’s coaches and specialists shared their advice.

The Serbian national team had the most crooked glances. The Balkan state, which supports Russia’s military action in Ukraine, seems to have become a kind of refuge for the aggressors.

The Serbian national team has sent ten of its representatives to Armenia, but only three of them have no serious ties to Russia.

The other seven were born in Russia and have represented the country’s team for many years.

“When I saw the former coaches and doctors of the Russian national team in the competition, I was easily shocked. Wondering what they do here? No less surprised was the list of the Serbian national team, which includes a whole range of Russians, whom we have fought for many times in the past, ”he said. 15min The coach of the Lithuanian boxing team Vidas Bružas shared his fresh impressions.

Photo by Luke April / 15 minutes / Vidas Bružas

Among the eight newly baked “Serbs” are both athletes who have won gold medals.

The name of Vachid Abasov, who became the European champion in the 67 kg category in Yerevan, was only recently on the lists of the Russian Boxing Federation.

The 25-year-old boxer was born in Russia and lived most of his career in Tolyatti. He was tempted by the Serbian passport in the late 2021s and says he made the decision because he had no chance of entering the Russian national team, as there were far more capable athletes.

EUBC photo / Wachid Abasov

Artyom Ageyev, who came from Serpukhov, has become the Russian champion more than once. He triumphed in the 80 kg category in Yerevan.

Sergei Kalchugin comes from Serpukhov and fought in the category of over 92 kg. The 34-heavyweight has been a member of the Russian boxing team for more than a decade, winning the silver championship twice at the Russian championship and winning bronze five times. With the Russian flag, he climbed into the ring and competed in the semi-professional WSB league.

Competing in the 54 kg category, Tamir Galanov was born in the Buryat Republic in southeastern Siberia.

The 33-year-old boxer has won the Russian champion 4 times (2009, 2012, 2013, 2018), holds a silver medal at the European Championships (2011) and a bronze medal at world championships (2017). An international-class Russian sports champion has been disqualified for doping for two years in the past, and from 2021 onwards. He was granted Serbian citizenship “by special interest” following a government decision in April.

Pavel Fyodor, 25, was born in the Ivanovo region and spent most of his career in Samara. The boxer, who was fighting in the 63.5 kg weight category, was the bronze winner of the Russian Championship in 2019.

Born in Makhachkala, Saddam Magomedov, 30, has become Russian champion three times, winning a bronze medal at the European Games in 2015 for Russia. In the fall of 2019, he was disqualified for three years for violating doping rules, and even before the end of that sentence, he received Serbian citizenship in April 2021.

“This Serbian decision, especially in the current very sensitive context, was very surprising. I do not understand how boxers are able to obtain citizenship in such a relatively short time, how all official formalities are handled so quickly. I do not understand at all what benefits the Serbs see from this. After all, the country is represented, boxed and medals are not taken by its athletes “, V. Bružas was surprised.

Serbia national team at the European Championship
Athlete Category Achievement
Omeras Ametovičius Up to 51 kg Preliminary stage
Tamir Galanov 54 kg Preliminary stage
Pavel Fyodorov 63.5 kg Preliminary stage
Vachid Abasov 67 kg Champion
Sandro Poletanas 71 kg Preliminary stage
Almiras Memičius 75 kg Quarterfinal
Artyom Ageev 80 kg Champion
Vladimir Mironchikov 86 kg Quarterfinal
Saddam Magomedov up to 92 kg Quarterfinal
Sergei Kalchugin over 92 kg Preliminary stage

Serbia was not represented by any of these boxers at the European Games in Minsk four years ago, in which the boxing tournament was equated with a continental championship.

At that time, the team of this country consisted of eight purebred Serbs, but none of them reached higher heights – only two wins were fought over.

In general, Serbian boxing has not had a deep tradition so far.

The continental championship in Yerevan is the most successful in the country’s history. The “Serbs”, who won two gold medals, took second place in the final table of medals, behind only the representatives of Sakartvel (3 gold medals and 1 silver).

Since the break-up of Yugoslavia, this Balkan turmoil has not won any fancy award at the European Championships until this year.

The Serbian boxer won his last gold medal in the continental championship in 1985, when Ljubiša Simičius became the champion in Budapest.

“We participated in one tournament in Serbia a few years ago and the country was already represented by a couple of former Russian boxers. But then it was just two athletes, and now the whole team. Exactly the same in women’s boxing. Natalia Shadrina, a longtime member of the Russian national team, defended Serbia’s honor at the recent World Cup in Istanbul. She is from Buryatia and her coach is also Russian. The entire boxing community is very surprised and concerned about such twists. I have spoken to many coaches and I can safely say that there are dissatisfied representatives of many countries with this behavior of Serbs. There is a war going on in Ukraine, we are all trying to be united, and there are emergency exits for the aggressor athletes. Absurd “, V. Bruzas wondered.

Photo by Scanpix / Umar Kremlin

The peaks of amateur boxing tops against Russia are no news. One can recall the IBA presidential election in mid-May, in which Dutch representative Boris van der Worst was expelled from the fight and pro-Russian Russian Umar Kremlin was re-elected for a four-year term.

The IBA based its decision on Mr van der Worst’s breach of the organisation’s rules by participating in the activities of another organization.

The Netherlands has referred the matter to the International Court of Arbitration (CAS) and concerns about the situation in the IBA elections have already been expressed by the International Olympic Committee.

The sports community has criticized the IBA for its financial dependence on Russia’s state gas giant Gazprom, but the leaders of the boxing federation are clearly delaying breaking the band and ending a lucrative contract.

The article is in Latvian

Tags: boxing world furious expelled Russian athletes find refuge Serbian national team Sports

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