Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Roman Repilov, winner of the the 2021 World Luge Championship in Germany last Saturday (January 30( under the restrictive conditions imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling last December.
Under the two-year ban imposed on Russia for tampering with data from the Moscow Laboratory – halved from the four years proposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency – its athletes compete as neutrals, with altered uniform branding, and may not have the national anthem played at medal ceremonies.
The Russian national flag is also precluded from ceremonies, although flags including Russian colours are allowed.
"At the World Championship in Germany you showed a perfect result having proved to be a strong, determined and talented athlete," Putin said in a congratulatory message to Repilov which has been posted on the Kremlin’s official website, Russia's official state news agency TASS reported.
"You have once again demonstrated a high level of skills, and treated your mentors, as well as everyone who supported you at this responsible tournament, with the victorious and spectacular performance."
Putin also wished the 24-year-old Russian luger - who successfully defended his title in Königssee - new achievements, good luck in sports and all the best.
In line with the CAS decision, Russian lugers competed in Königssee under the flag of the Russian Luge Federation and their white and blue uniforms had an official RLF logo on them.
The anthem of the International Luge Federation was played during the awarding ceremonies for Russian athletes.
The ruling of the Swiss-based court also stripped Russia of the right to bid for the organisation of all international sports tournaments for the period of two years.
WADA’s sanctions are due to be in force until December 2022.