Biathlon: Russians sing anthem alone as organizers play wrong tune

Biathlon - IBU World Championships - Men 4 x 7.5 km Relay - Hochfilzen, Austria - 18/2/17 - Alexey Volkov of Russia, Maxim Tsvetkov of Russia, Anton Babikov of Russia and Anton Shipulin of Russia react. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Biathlon - IBU World Championships - Men 4 x 7.5 km Relay - Hochfilzen, Austria - 18/2/17 - Alexey Volkov of Russia, Maxim Tsvetkov of Russia, Anton Babikov of Russia and Anton Shipulin of Russia on the podium. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

HOCHFILZEN, Austria (Reuters) - Russian biathletes sang the correct version of their national anthem without any musical accompaniment after the wrong version was played out at a medal ceremony on Saturday.

Aleksei Volkov, Maksim Tsvetkov, Anton Babikov, and Anton Shipulin were left, alongside a Russian TV commentator, to sing the correct version, which is the old Soviet anthem music with new lyrics introduced by president Vladimir Putin in 2000.

The Soviet anthem was replaced with a new one by then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1991.

The correct anthem was finally played and the PA announcer later apologized to the Russian team.

Russia beat France to win the gold medal in the 4x7.5-km relay.

The anthem mix-up followed an incident last weekend when the U.S. tennis association was left to apologize for playing the Nazi-era German anthem at a Fed Cup tennis tie in Hawaii.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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