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Russian boxers appear to flout mandatory coronavirus isolation rules

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on March 27, 2020 - Duration: 01:07s

Russian boxers appear to flout mandatory coronavirus isolation rules

Several members of Russia's national boxing team have posted online pictures or videos that appear to show them flouting self-isolation rules imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, social media posts reviewed by Reuters show

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Russian boxers appear to flout mandatory coronavirus isolation rules

RESENDING WITH UPDATED SCRIPT AND HEADLINE VIDEO SHOWS: RUSSIAN BOXING FEDERATION PRESIDENT UMAR KREMLEV SAYS NATIONAL TEAM BOXERS FLOUTED THE COUNTRY'S SELF-ISOLATION RULES IN SKYPE CALL SHOWS: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (FILE - NOVEMBER 27, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

MEN TRAINING IN MOSCOW BOXING CENTER 2.

SECRETARY GENERAL FOR RUSSIAN BOXING FEDERATION, UMAR KREMLEV, AT PUNCHING BAG 3.

PORTRAIT OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN IN BOXING GLOVES UNKNOWN LOCATION (MARCH 25, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA'S BOXING FEDERATION, UMAR KREMLEV, SAYING: "Yes, they are back.

They are now in quarantine.

They are being tested.

In a week they should start training.

For now they are back, they are working out at home.

5.

WHITE FLASH 6.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA'S BOXING FEDERATION, UMAR KREMLEV, SAYING: "When they arrived, they were all checked.

They are in complete self-isolation and they have about a week left to go.

And they will resume training in about a week." 7.

WHITE FLASH 8.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA'S BOXING FEDERATION, UMAR KREMLEV, SAYING: "We have (such information).

We are assessing the situation of those who violated it.

There are some who violated it… But how did they violate it?

They just went out to train.

You must understand that a professional athlete trains everyday and can't live without it.

Of course we are working now for the situation not to repeat itself." MOSCOW, RUSSIA (FILE - NOVEMBER 27, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 9.

MEN TRAINING IN MOSCOW BOXING CENTER STORY: Several members of Russia's national boxing team have posted online pictures or videos that appear to show them flouting self-isolation rules imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, social media posts reviewed by Reuters show.

The Russian national boxing team returned home last week after an Olympic qualification tournament in London was halted on March 16 because of the rapidly spreading virus.

Two Turkish boxers and one coach tested positive for the coronavirus after returning home from the event.

All Russians returning from abroad must self-isolate for two weeks, barring them from attending work and school, and minimise their presence in public spaces.

But several national team boxers documenting their daily lives on social media either posted or were identified in pictures and videos at training facilities or in public.

In one case, Gabil Mamedov, who competes in the men's lightweight class, on Monday posted a video of himself on Instagram at a boxing club in Orenburg, 1,230 km (760 miles) southeast of Moscow.

He is sitting on the edge of a boxing ring, where five people are training, and there are other individuals visible in the background.

It was accompanied with a hashtag in Russian saying "We are quarantining" and showed him encouraging followers not to despair during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mamedov deleted the post shortly after publishing it.

He later posted another video, this time showing him alone as he shadowboxed in what appears to be a living room.

Mamedov did not respond to a request for comment.

The authorities, who have so far recorded 840 coronavirus cases, have threatened to punish those who breach self-isolation regulations with fines and prison terms, and have deported some foreigners found to have violated them.

Umar Kremlev, president of the Russian Boxing Federation, told Reuters on Wednesday he was aware that some national team boxers had not followed self-isolation rules and that the federation was now working to avoid further violations.

"They just went out to train," Kremlev said.

"You must understand that a professional athlete trains every day and can't live without it." He did not mention specific cases.

The Russian Boxing Federation said in a statement on Thursday (March 26) that the boxers who had returned from London were training individually and remained in "complete self-isolation." In response to a Reuters request for comment, the Sports Ministry said that athletes, like all Russian citizens, needed to comply with self-isolation measures.

Rasul Saliev, who competes in the flyweight class, posted a video on Instagram on March 19 showing him visiting a cafe in Makhachkala, in Russia's southern Dagestan region, where he was drinking tea and eating dates with two other people.

On Wednesday (March 25), Saliev uploaded a picture of himself and two other people taken at another cafe.

While Saliev's posts on Instagram's Stories were not dated, the feature is used almost exclusively for events happening the same day.

In many cases, old material will contain a timestamp showing that it was not taken that day.

Saliev did not respond to a request for comment.

(Production: Anastasia Adasheva)

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