The Russian KAMAZ-master team, the champion of the Dakar Desert Rally in the truck category of 2022, has announced its absence from the rally, which is taking place in Saudi Arabia.
The reason for this decision was that the FIA was trying to force the Russian team to sign a document condemning the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, which was rejected by the Russian team.
“In our opinion, the content of this document is political in nature, and also violates the principles of a level playing field for athletes,” the team said in a statement posted on the website.
The team noted that it was impossible to sign such documents and participate in competitions under such conditions.
The Dakar Rally will take place from December 31 to January 15 in Saudi Arabia.
It should be noted that at the end of February, the International Olympic Committee sent a letter to international sports federations with a recommendation not to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in any international competitions.
The FIA did not completely exclude Russians from competitions under its auspices, allowing Russian athletes to compete in championships under a neutral flag.
It is noteworthy that over the past 22 years, the KAMAZ-Master team has won the Dakar rally 19 times.