Just don't believe it. Members of Russia's volleyball team, which won gold at the 2012 London Olympics, began raising funds to collect equipment and ammunition to be used by their homeland in the war against Ukraine. The initiator of the initiative is Olympic champion Taras Khati, the bronze medalist from Athens 2004 who heads the foundation and is supported by his London 2012 teammates Sergei Tatyukhin, Dmitry Ilinik and Nikolai Afalikov and other volleyball players who joined.
Four members of #Russia's #London2012 #Olympic gold medal-winning #volleyball team led by Taras Khtey are reported to have supported fundraising efforts to buy ammunition for the war in #Ukrainehttps://t.co/Bl78I9pPzi
— insidethegames (@insidethegames) September 21, 2023
So far, a €43,400 project called "All for Victory" has been collected, which will be used to buy uniforms, bulletproof vests, first aid kits, generators and an SUV. The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) said it was unaware of the reports, but expressed its opposition to the war. "The FIVB is not aware of these reports and is unable to comment on activity taking place outside FIVB's jurisdiction," the statement said. "The FIVB reiterates its total opposition to war and its firm belief that athletes, and sport, should be used to promote peace and unity and not to be used as a tool of conflict and division."
Un campeón olímpico de #Voleibol ruso recauda dinero para la guerra. Los €43.400 recaudados por Taras Khtey han servido para comprar uniformes, chalecos antibalas, vehículos todoterreno, generadores y equipos de primeros auxilios. Le han ayudado otros compañeros de selección pic.twitter.com/D4MSwitCkF
— Historias de los Juegos (@HistoriasdlosJJ) September 21, 2023
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Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to its exile from international sports for more than a year from February 2022, before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) controversially allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to return as individual neutrals provided they do not support the war and are not affiliated with the military, but this does not apply to team sports including volleyball, which have maintained a total ban. Russia was also eliminated from last year's Men's Volleyball World Championship.
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