Athletistic/Wrestling. The head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov spoke about the decision of Ukrainian freestyle wrestler Vasily Mikhailov to refuse to be photographed on the pedestal next to Russian Akhmed Usmanov. Both athletes won medals at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade (Serbia).

The day before, September 18, Usmanov became world champion in the weight category up to 79 kg, and Mikhailov won bronze. At the awards ceremony, the winners traditionally gathered for a group photo. But Usmanov was approached by Georgia’s silver medal winner Vladimir Gamkrelidze and Iran’s Mohammad Nokhodarimi, who won the second bronze medal; the Ukrainian athlete refused to take a joint photo.

“The first such case occurred at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Then the Ukrainian athlete was forced to condemn her behavior for taking a photo with a Russian woman. From that moment on, schizophrenia persisted,” Pozdniakov said, as quoted by RIA Novosti Sport.

After the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a scandal erupted in Ukraine over a joint photo of the bronze medalist of the Games, Yaroslava Maguchikh, with Russian Maria Lasitskene, who won gold in the Japanese capital. Some Ukrainian media and fans criticized the photo. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry then had a conversation with Maguchikh, after which the athlete apologized for her behavior.

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