Azerbaijani sportsman may be stripped of medal for disrespect for the Armenian anthem

President of the European Sambo Federation Sergey Eliseev has denounced Azerbaijani athlete Bakhtiyar Abbasov for his unsportsmanlike behavior during the performance of the Armenian national anthem at an award ceremony during the recent World Cup in Moscow. Abbasov demonstratively squatted as the Armenian anthem was playing in honor of Ashot Danielian, an Artsakh-born Armenian fighter, who won the gold at the tournament.

“I condemn this act and find it unacceptable for a sportsman, especially considering that he’s a member of the national team of Azerbaijan and represents his country at the official World Cup. This is unsporting behavior. Such a sportsman does not deserve to become a prize-winner at the World Cup,” Sergey Eliseev said in a statement posted on the official page of the Federation.

“I consider that the athlete, who violates the rules of the tournament and ethical norms, should be excluded from competitions and be stripped of his medal,” President of the European Sambo Federation said.

He said the decision on Abbasov’s participation in future competitions should be made by the disciplinary committee of the International Sambo Federation.

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