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29 Jul, 2021 12:21

ROC team to file complaint with Tokyo Olympics authorities after ‘cheater’ question aimed at tennis star Medvedev

ROC team to file complaint with Tokyo Olympics authorities after ‘cheater’ question aimed at tennis star Medvedev

Team ROC, the name under which Russian athletes are competing in Tokyo, plan to lodge a complaint against questions aimed at Daniil Medvedev by a journalist in which he asked if Russian athletes are 'cheaters'.

A Chilean reporter opened with a bizarre line of queries for the world's second-ranked men's tennis player Medvedev in which he asked the Moscow native if Russian athletes felt the "stigma of cheaters" following his third round win against Italy's Fabio Fognini. 

A furious Medvedev countered the accusation by saying that for the first time in his professional career, he was refusing to answer a reporter's question and called on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to take action against the journalist. 

Medvedev's reaction was matched in the Kremlin, with Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov announcing that the 25-year-old tennis star had responded to the accusation with dignity. 

Team ROC - who are competing under that name due to sanctions - has also intimated that a committee has been formed to investigate the matter.

"We have been expecting provocative questions to be addressed in regard to our athletes," said Konstantin Vybornov, on behalf of Team ROC.

"On the whole, we enjoy a very respectful treatment of our national team, but at the same time, we encounter occasional persons who unashamedly provoke us and try to knock our athletes off balance."

Also on rt.com Tennis star Medvedev slams journalist for suggesting Russian athletes are ‘carrying stigma of cheaters’ at Tokyo Olympics

"In the case of Daniil Medvedev, we are talking about Chilean journalist Sebastian Nahmias," he continued.

"He has been trying for the second day in a row to incite a scandal in regard to our team asking over and over again the same questions and in the same manner.

"It has nothing to do with translation problems, everyone understood him quite clearly, and the organizers issued a warning to this strange colleague yesterday and had to walk him away from the mixed zone for the media today. By the way, Medvedev acted in a very dignified manner under unpleasant circumstances.

Also on rt.com No wonder Daniil Medvedev snapped at ‘cheaters’ question – some people can’t handle clean Russian athletes competing in Tokyo

"The hub of our Olympic team will not leave this incident unattended, and we are extremely concerned with this journalist as he travels on purpose between all arenas, where our athletes are competing, and keeps harassing them.

"This is why after having collected all of the necessary information, we plan to submit an official request with the Local Organizing Committee [Tokyo-2020 LOC] and the IOC," he added.

"Our goal is simple, and it is about preventing such incidents in the future."

As of Thursday morning, Team ROC have won seven golds, 11 silvers and eight bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics from an Olympic delegation of 185 female and 150 male athletes.

Last December, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld various sanctions imposed on Russia by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) which meant that Russian athletes were disallowed from competing under their national flag for a period of two years.