Tatiana Minina is one of the athletes accused of liking pro war posts ©Getty Images

Russian athletes competed at the World Taekwondo Championships in Baku despite liking social media posts which support the invasion of Ukraine, it has been claimed.

UkrSportBase has released videos which allege that eight athletes and a coach liked posts "in support of Russian aggression and the Russian army".

This includes posts containing the "Z" and "V" symbols which are used to support the war, the videos claim.

When approached by insidethegames, World Taekwondo said it had launched a review.

Named in the videos are World Championship medallists Kristina Adebaio, Tatiana Minina and Polina Khan, as well as Georgii Gurtsiev from Belarus.

Also named are Baku participants Viacheslav Bovkun, Rafael Kamalov and Elizaveta Ryadninskaya, non World Championships competitor Vyacheslav Minin and coach Konstantin Minin.

"Many of them liked Russian national taekwondo team coach Bolat Izutdinov's pro-war and anti-Ukrainian posts on Instagram," said UkrSportBase.

"Izutdinov repeats the arguments of Russian propaganda in these posts, supports the war against Ukraine and Putin personally, talks about the 'coup' in Ukraine in 2014...

"All these posts were supported by 'neutral' Russian coaches and taekwondo athletes."

Twenty-three Russians competed in Baku as neutrals after World Taekwondo adopted the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recommendation that athletes should be allowed to return if they are not openly in support of the war or affiliated to the military.

The IOC had previously called for a complete ban on both countries when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his war in February 2022.

World Taekwondo said a Review Committee and verification process would ensure the "strict neutrality" of any Russians or Belarusians competing.

Olympic gold medallists Vladislav Larin and Maxim Khramtsov were both then banned from competing at the World Championships when it was ruled that they openly supported the invasion.

"World Taekwondo is aware of these allegations and has referred them to the Review Committee which is responsible for the verification of individual neutral athletes," the governing body told insidethegames.

"World Taekwondo is not able to make any further comment on this matter before this review is complete." 

Gurtsiev won silver at the World Championships in the men's under-58 kilograms division.

Adebaio, Minina and Khan all collected bronze medals.

Kamalov was disqualified as he faced Italy's Roberto Botta in his first bout in the men's 87kg middleweight class.

Rafael Kamalov was previously honoured by the International Military Sports Council ©CISM
Rafael Kamalov was previously honoured by the International Military Sports Council ©CISM

His presence was already controversial as he won a gold medal at the World Military Games in 2019 and was voted as athlete of the year by the International Military Sports Council (CISM) in 2018.

When awarding him the honour, the CISM said that "as a soldier he is completely dedicated and obedient to orders of his superiors and takes his responsibilities as a soldier with pride".

It was claimed that Kamalov and other neutral athletes approved were no longer affiliated to the military, with World Taekwondo adopting a three-step verification process.

World Taekwondo had already confirmed to insidethegames that it is investigating the presence of Larin and Khramtsov at the World Championships to see if any rules were broken.

Russia's national head coach Vadim Ivanov said that the pair were "part of the team" in Azerbaijan's capital and that they helped both coaches and athletes.