International Cycling

Putin grants Australia's Perkins Russian citizenship

2017-08-17 17:29
Cycling at the Olympics (Getty Images)

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday gave former cycling world champion Shane Perkins of Australia Russian citizenship, paving the way for the rider to represent the country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Perkins, 30, announced he was switching allegiance to Russia earlier this year after failing to get on Australia's track cycling team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

A decree published by the Kremlin said Putin had signed off on granting the rider -- who is currently in Saint Petersburg for Russia's national championships -- citizenship.

The rare defection by an Australian athlete raised eyebrows since Melbourne-born Perkins has no family ties to Russia.

The cyclist was reportedly convinced to join the Russian team by his training partner in Japan Denis Dmitriev, who told him that it would give him a good chance of competing in Tokyo.

Perkins won bronze in the individual sprint at the London Olympics in 2012 after claiming first place at the 2011 World Championships in the keirin event.

His switch to Russia comes at a time when the country is in the spotlight after an alleged state-sponsored doping system was uncovered.

Read more on:    cycling

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.