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Wrestling-Russia's Sadulaev ruled ineligible to compete in Olympic qualifiers

Russia's two-times Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev will not be allowed to compete in the European OG Qualifiers in Baku after United World Wrestling (UWW) on Thursday found new information about his support of the Ukraine-Russia war.

The sport's governing body said that the 27-year-old, who won gold at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and at Tokyo 2020, failed to meet the eligibility criteria set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for Individual Neutral Athletes.

Relations between Russia and the IOC have worsened in the run-up to the Paris Olympics, starting on July 26 where Russian and Belarusian athletes will compete as neutrals, without their flags and anthems, and be excluded from the opening parade, because of the war in Ukraine.

"Sadulaev was declared ineligible after the panel found new information about his support of the Ukraine-Russia war...," UWW said in a statement.

"The decisions regarding eligibility were made by a panel, relying on comprehensive vetting reports provided by an independent and private intelligence service provider."

Alikhan Zhabrailov will replace Sadulaev for the event in Baku, the third continental Olympic qualifiers which will be held from April 5-7 with 36 quotas on offer.

"I want to emphasise that it was the IOC that made the decision on Sadulaev's ineligibility, the UWW on the contrary did everything possible to make Sadulaev wrestle," President of Russian Wrestling Federation Mikhail Mamiashvili said.

"At the moment, all Russian wrestlers have a clear task - to get tickets to the Olympic Games on a sporting principle. And after that we will weigh the pros and cons and decide whether to go to Paris."