Ali Abdelaziz defends Russian athletes, says unfair to deprive them of Visas because of Politics

Ali Abdelaziz slammed the punishment of Russian sportsmen as a consequence of the Eastern European region’s political strife.

Following Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has encouraged all sports governing organizations throughout the globe to prohibit Russian athletes from competing in any organized international tournaments.

The decision made it difficult for Russian and Belarussian athletes to get visas. This makes it almost impossible for them to compete in international athletic competitions.

Ali Abdelaziz, who handles numerous high-profile Russian UFC fighters, thinks that the arrangement is highly unfair to the sportsmen.

Abdelaziz, the Dominance MMA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), posted on Twitter:

“This whole political thing affecting a lot of Russian athletes, especially guys from Dagestan, Chechnya and the Caucuses, and nobody talking about it. It’s sad because these guys did nothing wrong. It’s extremely hard to get Visas for these guys.”

Abdelaziz also said that Russian sportsmen who have the potential to be the next Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are being denied the chance to succeed.

“And I know many Khabib, many Islam and many Zabit will come from this region, and I know if you still giving opportunities for these guys, I respect you very much and you know yourself and if you don’t I completely understand too.”

As far as Ali Abdelaziz is concerned, there haven’t been any recorded incidents of Russian fighters being barred from the UFC.

The closest a Russian athlete has faced difficulty in participating in an international event was when Alexander Volkov said he experienced some problems while entering the United Kingdom for his UFC London bout. Despite this, Volkov was able to enter the nation and attend the event on time.

The IOC further said that the Russian athletes’ suspension is not imposed as a form of punishment but rather for their own safety. The head of the sports organization, Thomas Bach, told The Associated Press:

“Let me emphasize again that these are protective measures, not sanctions. Measures to protect the integrity of competitions.”

“The safety of the Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials could not be guaranteed because of the deep anti-Russian and anti-Belarusian feelings in so many countries following the invasion.”