Russian freestyle wrestlers refused a visa by the Romanian embassy © Getty Images

Seven Russian freestyle wrestlers have been denied visas by the Romanian embassy in Russia. The Russian Wrestling Federation (RWF) announced its freestyle wrestling squad for the 2024 European Championships a few days ago, but only Magomedov (61 kg), Rashidov (65 kg) and Kurbanov (92 kg) were granted visas.

The 2024 European Championships will be held from 12-18 February in Bucharest, Romania. Russian freestyle wrestlers will compete with a full squad as individual neutral athletes. Among those denied visas are two-time Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev (97 kg), Tokyo 2020 champion Zavur Uguev (57 kg), Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Artur Naifonov (86 kg), world champion David Baev (74 kg) and European champion Kurban Shiraev (70 kg). 

"At the moment we are working on corrections to the team application and as soon as everything is approved we will publish the final squads of the Russian national teams in Greco-Roman, women's and freestyle wrestling. We hope that our teams will participate with full squads," RWF general director Yuri Fedorov told Ria Novosti.

Tokyo 2020 champion Zaur Uguev among those denied visas. GETTY IMAGES
Tokyo 2020 champion Zaur Uguev among those denied visas. GETTY IMAGES

According to Fedorov, United World Wrestling (UWW) is supporting the RWF and helping the athletes to get visas. RWF President Mikhail Mamiashvili is confident that they will be able to send full teams to Bucharest. "The Romanian embassy in Russia is joking with us. We hope to get all the visas in time," said Mamiashvili. 

Today the RWF also announced the squad of Greco-Roman wrestlers and some big names such as former European Champions Zhambolat Lokyaev, Vitali Kabaloev and U23 World Champion Artur Sargsian were dropped from the squad due to visa problems and replaced by other athletes. According to RWF, all Greco-Roman wrestlers have been granted visas.