The decision was reportedly made over a picture of Musa Evloev with a “No to Nazism” poster Russian wrestling champion Musa Evloev © Vladimir Pesnya; RIA Novosti

Russian wrestler and Olympic champion Musa Evloev has been barred from qualifying for the upcoming Paris 2024 games reportedly due to a complaint over him posing with an anti-Nazism poster, according to the president of the Russian wrestling Federation Mikhail Mamiashvili.

30-year-old Evloev won the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the 97 kg Greco-Roman wrestling event. A two-time world champion and two-time European champion, he has also won gold and silver in numerous national and international wrestling tournaments.

However, speaking to RIA news on Monday, Mamiashvili explained that he is yet to be allowed to take part in the qualifiers for this year’s Games in Paris, despite Russian athletes being allowed to participate in the games as individual neutral athletes under a neutral flag.

“The sad fact is that he has been accused of taking a photograph in front of a poster reading: “No to Nazism!” This is the main complaint that is being made against Olympic champion Evloev – that he is for a world without Nazism. There are no other claims,” Mamiashvili said.

He suggested that by this logic, the United World Wrestling (UWW) – the international governing body for Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling – is acting in support of Nazism.

“If that’s the case, then just tell us that, and that we have nothing to do on your playground. Then we will spend our time pursuing other athletic endeavors,” Mamiashvili said.

Only 40 Russians will compete in Olympics - IOC Only 40 Russians will compete in Olympics - IOC

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Only 40 Russians will compete in Olympics – IOC

Last weekend, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates said in an interview that the total number of Russian nationals who will be participating in the Paris Games under a neutral flag will likely be less than 40 people.

Following the launch of Russia’s military operation against Ukraine, the IOC banned athletes from Russia and Belarus, Moscow’s key ally, from participating in the games under their national flags.

Instead, IOC President Thomas Bach announced in September that athletes from these countries could only be allowed to take part in the competition as individual athletes under a neutral flag on the condition that they “do not support the war and are not linked to the military, or to other services.”

Russia has slammed the decision, with President Vladimir Putin insisting that “sport is outside of politics” and that such policies could mark the end for the Olympic movement. (RT)