The Russian Wrestling Federation announced that it had declined an invitation for 10 wrestlers to compete at the Paris Olympics, claiming that more athletes should have received invitations.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus are currently only eligible to compete in the Olympics as neutral individual athletes due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, meaning that the athletes would be competing without flags, anthems, or a role in the opening ceremonies, according to ESPN.

The International Olympic Committee determined that 10 Russian wrestlers would be eligible to compete in the Paris Olympics as neutral athletes, which would have been the highest number of athletes allowed in any one sport under the Individual Neutral Athlete program, according to the Associated Press.

Part of the Individual Neutral Athlete program involves invitations only being sent to athletes from countries that do not have any connection to security services or the military. The program also dictates that the athletes must not publicly support the war.

The 10 wrestlers with a Russian passport listed as eligible to compete in the Paris Olympics are as follows:

  • Nachin Mongush
  • Shamil Mamedov
  • Arslan Bagaev
  • Abdulla Kurbanov
  • Alan Ostaev
  • Magomed Murtazaliev
  • Natalya Malysheva
  • Veronika Chumikova
  • Alina Kasabieva
  • Elizaveta Petliakova

However, the Russian Wrestling Federation (RWF) claims that up to 16 Russian wrestlers had qualified for the Olympics, and six of the 10 invited were “far from the status of Russian team leaders,” according to a translated statement from FloWrestling.

The statement specifically claims that two-time gold medalist Abdulrashid Sadulaev, along with Zaurbek Sidakov, Zaur Uguev, and Musa Evloev, were all scorned for not being declared eligible to participate as individual neutral athletes.

“We do not accept the unsportsmanlike selection principle that guided the International Olympic Committee when forming the list of eligible athletes, the purpose of which is to undermine the principle of unity of our team,” continued the RWF in a statement.

“Any sane person understands that the status of the Olympic Games as the most significant sporting event is being questioned, and wrestling competitions without Russian athletes will be incomplete, and the champions will not receive the satisfaction of winning the Olympic tournament,” claimed the federation, per ESPN.

The move to decline the invite reportedly involved a “unanimous decision” by members of the RWF that included the athletes, the executive committee, and the national teams’ coaching staff.

The Paris Olympics will begin with the Opening Ceremony on July 26 and run until August 11. The wrestling portion of the games will begin on August 5.