The Azerbaijani team will be represented at the 31st Summer Olympic Games and 15th Summer Paralympic Games in Rio with 56 athletes, said Azad Rahimov, Minister of Youth and Sports.
Rahimov, addressing a press conference on July 25, said that Azerbaijani people have high expectations on their athletes, adding that Azerbaijani paralympians will also please the nation.
Azerbaijan’s athletes will struggle for Olympic medals in 18 sports, four of which are new to the country. They are triathlon, archery, cycling and canoe slalom.
Rio 2016 will be the first Olympic performance for 36 of 56 Azerbaijani athletes.
Not only athletes will represent the country at the Games in Rio — three referees in wrestling, gymnastics and boxing will also join the Azerbaijani Olympic team. The team will be accompanied by 34 coaches, six doctors, physiotherapists and technical staff. Part of the Azerbaijani team – judokas are already in Brazil.
The sports delegation of Azerbaijan will fly to Rio de Janeiro on August 1 and return home on August 22.
The Azerbaijani team will arrive in Brazil in the morning of August 2 at 09:30 after a 14-hour flight. A day after, a welcoming ceremony of the Azerbaijani athletes as well as the tricolor flag raising ceremony will be held in the Olympic village.
“Our team for Olympics is large, so it will be placed in a separate building in the Olympic village of Rio,” Rahimov said.
The minister further added that the Youth and Sports Ministry presented proposals to the Milli Majlis (Parliament) for a number of changes to the anti-doping legislation.
Under the proposed amendments, forcing to use doping means or methods should be prosecuted along with penalty in the amount of 1,000 to 5,000 manats ($630-3150) or corrective works for a period of two years. If the same actions are committed against minors, deprivation of liberty for a period up to two years is proposed.
For counterfeiting, buying and selling of medicinal drugs and nutrition including doping means there was proposed two years of corrective works or deprivation of liberty for a term up to one year. For the manufacture, production, use and dissemination of information about places of acquisition of doping means, the fine for physical persons will be 500-1000 manats ($315-$630), 1,000-102,000 manats ($630-$64,350) for officials, and 202,000-303,000 manats ($127,450-$191,200) for the legal entities. Violation of the rules of doping control by sport organizations on physical culture, athletes, coaches, doctors and other professionals will lead to a fine of 1,000-2,000 manats ($630-$1,260).
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio will begin on August 5 and last till August 21. A record number of countries will participate in a record number of sports. More than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees, including first time entrants Kosovo and South Sudan, are scheduled to take part.
With 306 sets of medals, The games will feature 28 Olympic sports — including rugby sevens and golf, which were added by the International Olympic Committee in 2009. These sporting events will take place at 33 venues in the host city and at 5 venues in the cities of Brazilian Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasilia and Manaus cities.