Russia is set to send 48 athletes to the ALBA Games in Venezuela ©Getty Images

Russia is set to send a team of 48 athletes to this year's Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) Games in Venezuela.

It was revealed last month that Venezuelan Sports Minister Mervin Maldonado had invited Russia to compete while the country remains frozen out of most of international sport, due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Maldonado made the invitation to his Russian counterpart Oleg Matytsin during a meeting prior to the event, which is scheduled for April 21 to 29 in the South American country.

It has now been reported that Russia has accepted, and they are due to compete under their own flag.

"Russian athletes will perform at these Games of the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance under the flag and anthem of Russia," the Russian Sports Ministry said, according to the country's state news service TASS.

Oleg Matytsin received an invitation to the event from his Venezuelan counterpart ©Getty Images
Oleg Matytsin received an invitation to the event from his Venezuelan counterpart ©Getty Images

Russia is due to take part in boxing, beach volleyball, karate, table tennis, trampolining, weightlifting and rhythmic gymnastics.

The Games are set to see approximately 3,500 athletes from 11 countries compete in 35 sports.

In addition to Russia and the hosts, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and St Lucia are due to take part.

Russia's invitation came as part of a sporting agreement between the country and Venezuela that was signed in October 2021.

Most of the sporting world moved to ban the country following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in February last year, although the International Olympic Committee has now pledged to explore how the country's athletes could return as neutrals.

In Russia, there has been talk of creating new events so they can participate, including one for countries that are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.