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Kamaz backs Putin and bows out of 2023 Dakar Rally

 

According to the Russian news agency, Tass, the Kamaz-Master team has refused to sign a document provided by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), required to participate in the 2023 Dakar Rally.

 

 

The FIA document was the result of moves by global sports bodies, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

On February 28, 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine as the reason.

Following the IOC recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar Russian and Belarusian athletes from all international sports tournaments.

On March 1, the FIA announced special conditions allowing racers from Russia and Belarus to participate in international racing tournaments under a neutral flag and only after signing a particular document stipulating a set of restrictive measures.

“The participation of Russian athletes at the Dakar rally is given under the condition that they sign the Driver Commitment of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), which condemns the Russian special operation in Ukraine,” said a statement posted on the official website of Kamaz-Master Team.

“In our opinion, the content of this document is political and also violates the principles of equal rights for athletes,” the statement read. 

“We consider it impossible to sign such documents and participate in competitions under such conditions.

“Our choice is clear – we are always with our homeland, especially in difficult situations,” the statement continued.

From the international competition point of view, this is a great shame, because the 2023 event winner will achieve something of a hollow victory. Since the late 1990s, the Kamaz-Master Team has dominated the truck category, winning a record 19 of the races. To win the Dakar Rally, without defeating Kamaz, is not a convincing win.

The 45th edition of the Dakar Rally is scheduled to run between December 31, 2022 and January 15, 2023. The 14-stage route of the 2023 Dakar Rally edition will kick off at a ‘Sea Camp’ near Yanbu, on the Red Sea shore and is scheduled to finish in Dammam, in the Persian Gulf.

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