Italian ultramarathon runner shows support for banned Russians — Apsny News

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Federico Barucco also wore the colors of the Russian flag in his latest competition

Italian runner Federico Barucco used his participation at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc at the weekend to speak out against bans on Russian athletes, which he feels are discriminatory.

Russian sportspeople have been banned from a long list of global events since federations followed an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation in late February to take action as a response to the military operation in Ukraine. 

At the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc held in the Alps of France, Switzerland, and his homeland Italy, Barucco first showed his support for Russians by racing in a uniform that contained the colors of the Russian flag. 

At the finish line, where he came in 746th out of 1789 with a time of 38:59:06 in the 171.50km race, Barucco also held a banner reading “Sport without borders.”

“Sport should bring people together, and any suspension is discrimination. I want to support Russian athletes – both leading [ones] and just beginners – who do not have to pay with their dreams and years of suffering,” Barucco, who has a Russian partner, explained after the race. 


French biathlon coach faces ‘hatred’ after supporting Russian athletes

The athlete later explained to RIA Novosti that he had not met any open antagonism from his fellow runners as a result of his gesture, although he had faced messages of anger from Ukrainians on social media. 

Barucco also said he had heard that race organizers would seek to speak to him in the coming days about his actions, although he was ready to explain his stance in full to them and attempt to reverse the ban on Russian athletes. 

Elsewhere in the world of extreme running, Russian athlete in Alexandra Morozova tasted success by winning the 90-kilometer Comrades ultramarathon in South Africa under a neutral flag – a situation some of her compatriots find themselves in if they want to compete at international events.  

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