By Lusine Shahbazyan
Artur Aleksanyan told reporters whether he will participate in the next Olympic Games.
"Let no one politicize the phrase I said to the Russian journalist, let no one put himself in the place of someone who does not understand him and does not look for another meaning under my words. Let the Russian wrestler review our wrestling and see how he wa awarded points. Will I be at the next Olympics or not? I can not say anything at the moment, I have not decided anything yet," he noted.
Rio 2016 Olympic champion, Tokyo 2020 Olympic vice-champion, London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, three-time world, five-time European champion, winner of European Games Artur Aleksanyan, who won the
European Games last night, and Karapet G. He returned to the homeland with Aleksanyan.
Arthur Aleksanyan, 29, won a silver medal in the 97kg final of the Greco-Roman wrestling at the 32nd Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
At the end of the fight, the Olympic champion applauded the referees' actions, and after passing through the mixed zone for journalists, he said to the Russian journalist the phrase "You have to be from Russia to win", which later received a heated response in the Russian press. The wrestler from Gyumri also expressed his disagreement during the award ceremony, refusing to hang the silver medal around his neck.
In Tokyo, Artur Aleksanyan did not comment after the fight. Speaking to reporters at Zvartnots Airport after returning home, the Olympic champion made the first extensive comment about his final fight, disagreement with defeat, and his expression in the Russian press, which caused a scandal in the Russian press.
"I did not go for a silver medal, but for a gold one. We were well prepared, passed all the training stages and we all felt good on the mat. I think everyone saw what happened on the Tokyo mat.
We are convinced once again that the International Wrestling Federation is corrupt. Medals are not won, medals are distributed. This country does not have a medal, let's give a medal, the other one does not have gold, let's give gold," he said.
According to the Olympic champion, his, Karen Aslanyan, and Karapet Chalyan's gold medals were stolen from the Armenian team in Tokyo.
"I can not say that there was a specific direction against the Armenian team, but my gold medal and the medals of Karapet Chalyan and Karen Aslanyan were stolen from us. The color of one of our medals should have changed, Chalyan and Aslanyan could have won a medal. I think everyone has seen our wrestlings and their refereeing."
"There were refereeing mistakes," he noted.
Artur Aleksanyan could not hide his indignation while commenting on the final fight with Musa Yevloyev representing Russia. According to him, when he is asked why they gave a point to the opponent, he has no answer.
"I did nothing out of the ordinary when defending in the first round. Wrestling is judged by three referees. I defended in the games, all three referees registered a clear defense and the fight had to continue from a standing position.
"Suppose I had committed a violation. Didn't one of the referees see that? Well, would the others see? And you do not know where, they reprimanded me with two points."
"It's still unclear to me what I did wrong. I tried to understand what I had done, I asked the referees, but no one answered. I'm asked why they gave you two points in debt. I really can not answer because I do not know why. Everything was clear. I had an injury and it was clear to them that it would be difficult for me to bring back so many points," Artur Aleksanyan said.
The leader of the Armenian team also clarified what he meant by the expression made to the Russian journalist.
"Let them not politicize what I said. What I was saying was that yes, in Greco-Roman wrestling there are athletes representing Russia, who are always helped by the referees during the competitions. That's what I wanted to say. Let no one put himself in the place of the one who does not understand him and look for another meaning under my words."
"I am not interested in how the Russian wrestler interprets our wrestling. First, let me look again at the points that were given to him, what it was for, what I did, that those points were given to him. I have been saying in Tokyo for four days, show me where I violated, why I was reprimanded by two points. I say, show me, I will convince you that I made a mistake, I agree with my defeat, but there is no response, no one answers me. I defended myself within the law," said the wrestler.
By the way, Artur Aleksanyan arrived in Yerevan without a silver medal hanging around his neck, as medal-winning athletes always come to the arrival hall.
"I do not have the silver medal of Tokyo 2020, I have it with my coach. It is not on my neck now, because it was not the color of my medal," Artur Aleskanyan hinted.
The Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medalist congratulated the other Armenian medalists in Tokyo 2020.
"These Olympics gave us and our nation medals. Congratulations to our other medal winners. The Armenian Olympic team had 4 medals. Although we could have won many medals, we can be happy with that.
Will I be at the next Olympics or not? I can not say anything at the moment, I have not decided anything yet. I will rest now. I can not make a decision now. "After the rest, it will be clear what I will do," Artur Aleksanyan concluded.
The Armenian delegation finished its performance at the 32nd Summer Olympic Games in the Japanese capital with 4 medals: 2 silver and 2 bronze.
Greco-Roman wrestler Artur Aleksanyan (97 kg), weightlifter Simon Martirosyan (109 kg), boxer Hovhannes Bachkov (63 kg) won bronze medals, and Arthur Davtyan took third place in gymnastics.
Greco-Roman wrestler Karapet Chalyan (77 kg), who lost in the bronze medal bout, was also close to winning a medal.
At the moment, Armenia is in the 66th place in the overall medal count of Tokyo 2020.