Russian Olympian Vladimir Nikitin is set to receive a new BMW X3 after defeating Michael Conlan in the mens bantamweight division at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Nikitin defeated Conlan by unanimous decision in their Olympic quarter-final, which saw referee Kheira Sidi Yakoub stood down by the AIBA amidst widespread backlash regarding the decision.
Nikitin’s bronze medal, which was awarded by default after the 26-year-old had to withdraw from his semi-final with Shakur Stevenson due to injury, has earned him a new car as part of Russia’s Olympians’ Support Fund, which looks to reward Russian athletes who won medals at this summer’s Olympics.
According to Russian News Agency TASS, 56 Russian athletes will receive new BMW’s with gold medalists set to receive BMW X6 luxury crossovers, silver medalists to earn BMW X5s, and bronze medalists taking home BMW X3s.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev praised Russia’s performance at the Games and added that Russia’s victories had ‘nothing to do with doping or other sins.’
“This is so superb that you took our country to the fourth place in the overall medal standings having repeated the result of the Olympic Games in London,” Medvedev said.
‘Moreover, you have achieved this result under extremely complicated circumstances and amid an unprecedented pressure, which was exerted on our national team, on our whole sports society and on our country on the whole.
“No matter how hard some people tried, but they failed to foil the Olympics for Russia and you have managed to prove that our victories have nothing to do with doping or other sins, which some people periodically attempt to attribute to us.”
“Our common hope now is for the 2020 Olympic Games. I am sure that we will win there more medals and our national squad will be a competitive and powerful team.”
The entirety of Russia’s track and field team (with the exception of long jumper Darya Klishina) and the Russian weightlifting and rowing teams were banned from the Rio Olympics amidst evidence of state sponsored doping.