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26 Nov, 2019 14:17

Today sport is a war, where they don’t take prisoners – Belarus president

Today sport is a war, where they don’t take prisoners – Belarus president

Modern international sports competitions are akin to war where any misstep or technicality may be used to take out the competition, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned visiting athletes.

The leader of Belarus apparently sees competitive sports as an uneven field, where people representing less powerful nations may find themselves taken out by bureaucrats. “It’s not a competition, not even a battle, today this is war,” he said. “The sport has turned into politics.”

Any winning athlete “who is not American or, maybe, Chinese” immediately gets pressured, Lukashenko said, citing the example of Dmitry Nabokov, a Belarusian high jumper who got suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit in late October.

Also on rt.com Russia faces 4-year ban from major international sports events after WADA ‘recommends’ strong sanctions

His blood sample tested positive for a drug called furosemide, which is not a performance enhancer itself, but is still banned because it can be used to mask other drugs. Lukashenko alleged Nabokov was targeted because “he could stand in someone’s way” during the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan.

It’s a war without rules. A war has few rules, but there are none here. They don’t take prisoners but shoot you on the spot, before you can reach the finish line.

Lukashenko’s warning was addressed to the national rowing team, which was shown by local TV. It comes on the back of the news that Russia may be banned from international competitions for the next four years over allegations that it obstructed an investigation of the World Anti-Doping Organization (WADA).

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