Strictly star and Olympian Adam Peaty divides fans with views on Russian athletes

Strictly: Adam Peaty performs the Samba with Katya Jones

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Strictly Come Dancing star and Olympic diving athlete Adam took to Twitter to comment on a new ruling by The International Swimming Federation (FINA). The organisation has withdrawn the FINA Order previously awarded to Russian President Vladimir Putin due to the current conflict. 

FINA also ruled no Russian or Belarusiun athletes or teams can compete for their country, only as neutral athletes or teams. 

But for Adam, who won gold at the 2020 Summer Olympics last year, this does not go far enough. 

The 27-year-old called on FINA to “be firm” and ban such athletes from even competing as neutrals.

“I feel sad for the athletes caught in the crossfire but FINA need to be firm and not allow them to compete as neutrals,” he penned.

“It sends the wrong message completely.”

In the replies, Adam’s fans were divided over his remarks. 

Sarah wrote: “Disagree, if Boris sent our country to war, should you be stopped from competing? His choices aren’t yours. 

“If you’re happy to let go of patriotism and compete for yourself and not your country, you should be given that opportunity.”

Siobhan added: “I have to disagree with you on this one. 

“I respect your opinion, but Russian athletes are innocent and I personally think that they don’t deserve to have their careers ruined by what’s going on in their home country.”

But others agreed with Adam, with Ray writing: “I totally agree with you Adam ~ they should not be allowed to compete under any circumstances”.

Amanda replied: “Absolutely the right decision, it would be hypocritical if they weren’t banned.

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“Unfortunately we are dealing with a nut case and until his own people start realising and suffering like the Ukrainians they will never stand up against him.”

Alessandro added: “Very fair and balanced statement”. 

Meanwhile, The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) recently announced athletes from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics as neutrals. 

They will be excluded from the medals table and competing under the Paralympic flag as part of strict conditions that IPC President Andrew Parsons has called the “harshest possible punishment”. 

Amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine over the past week, there had been calls for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be banned from the Games, which begin on Friday and end on March 13.

In response to the invasion, governing bodies across several sports have sanctioned Russia by excluding athletes, banning the flag and cancelling major events like the UEFA Champions League final in St. Petersburg.

The IPC’s decision to let athletes represent Russia and Belarus at the 2022 Paralympics has been met with scepticism, as some branded it a “poor decision” and “not good enough”. 

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