By Lusine Shahbazyan
YEREVAN. – In sports, the medals that are won are not the property of the athletes; they are the accomplishments of the country. In Armenia, however, these medals are subject to customs clearance worth AMD 47,000, Armenian Weightlifting Federation Secretary General Pashik Alaverdyan told NEWS.am Sport.
To note, Armenia demands a customs payment for the bronze medal that weightlifter Hayk Hakobyan had won at the 2011 Summer Universiade, which was hosted in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
“Hakobyan had come in fourth place. [But] The gold medal winner was disqualified for doping, and [therefore] our athlete jumped up to third spot and won a bronze medal. The Universiade international organization sent the medal to Armenia, but this medal has gotten stuck at Armenia’s customs check point. They are asking for AMD 47,000 [approx. $115] to clear the medal from customs.
This medal is worth a mere €10, [which is] AMD 5,000 [approx. $12] with our currency. And at the border they say, “We made expenses, have managed to bring it here, [and] we will [conduct] customs clearance.’ [But] This is not the private medal of the athlete; it is the name and surname of the state,” Pashik Alaverdyan said.