Stars aged under 18 appearing at the Beijing Winter Olympics will not be required to follow stringent quarantine rules if they are unvaccinated, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has confirmed.
It was announced at the end of September that unvaccinated athletes would be allowed into China for the Games but would have to undergo a strict 21-day quarantine on arrival.
However, that will not apply to stars under the age of 18, ROC boss Stanislav Pozdnyakov announced on Wednesday.
“Speaking about the vaccination of underage athletes, we’ve received confirmation after our consultations with the IOC [the International Olympic Committee] and the [Local] Organizing Committee that in our case they would not be a part of the category of athletes subjected to the 21-day quarantine,” Pozdnyakov said.
“Provisionally there will be around seven athletes under 18 on our roster – three in figure skating competitions and four in freestyle [skiing] competitions.”
Russian figure skating stars such as 17-year-old duo Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova are vying for a spot on the Russian team, as is 15-year-old Kamlia Valieva.
Separately, it was reported on Wednesday that Russia has registered its first Covid vaccine specially designed for youngsters aged between 12 and 17.
‘Sputnik M’ – as the vaccine is known – could be rolled out from the end of December.
In other comments on the upcoming Beijing Winter Games – which run from February 4 to 20 next year – Russian Olympic chief Pozdnyakov said he would not welcome the diplomatic boycott which US President Joe Biden has said he is considering.
“Neither I personally, nor my colleagues are in favor of such political boycotts because they are ruining the integrity of the Olympic Games,” Pozdnyakov said.
“Such political boycotts are absolutely senseless from the stance of sports.
“We believe that sports must be distanced as much as possible from complicated political issues,” the ROC boss added.