Russia’s much-depleted Olympic team has departed for the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro after dozens of its athletes were excluded amid the country’s doping scandal.
Team members left on a charter flight Thursday morning from Moscow’s Sheremetevo airport to Brazil, a day after an emotional farewell ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.
More than 100 athletes from what was originally a 387-strong team have been barred from competing in Rio by international sports federations under sanctions which most Russian athletes consider unfair.
As she prepared to depart, handball player Anna Sen vowed to “fight for those athletes who were disqualified.”
Volleyball player Sergei Tetyukhin said “today, as never before, we need to stay united and become a family.”