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by Shane Stokes
August 18, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Gautier wins stage three of the Tour du Limousin; Former Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez fails anti-doping test; Sánchez: ‘I’m about to retire. Why would I do this?’; Quintana dismisses suggestions he could leave Movistar; Woods leads Cannondale-Drapac in Vuelta a España; Team Sky announces signings of Jonathan Castroviejo and David de la Cruz; Australian sprinter Perkins granted Russian citizenship by Putin; Winder, Mannion lead USA Cycling Pro Road Tour; Alberto Contador Foundation and Trek-Segafredo to set up Continental development team; Video: Cycling Motivation – Never Give Up; Video: Ferda Girls (Humble Parody)
Former world keirin champion Shane Perkins was granted Russian citizenship on Thursday, with the 30-year-old Australian receiving the green light to compete for that country. According to AFP, a decree published by the Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed off on the awarding of citizenship.
Perkins is currently in Saint Petersburg for the country’s national championships. The granting of citizenship makes it possible for him to represent Russia in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Although Perkins has no family ties to Russia, the Melbourne-born rider said earlier this year that he would seek to race for Russia after he was passed over for selection for the 2016 Olympics.
He was reportedly convinced to join the Russian team by his training partner Denis Dmitriev. He told Perkins that he would have a strong chance of competing in Tokyo.
Perkins won the world keirin championship as a junior in 2004 and took the elite title in 2011. In 2012 he was third in the individual sprint at the Olympic Games. Many Russian athletes missed the 2016 Games after a vast state-sponsored doping system was exposed, although its cyclists were able to compete.