“It’s about athletes with a Russian passport who do not support war when they participate in competitions. We have to think about the future,” Bach told the Italian daily. Speaking of “not supporting the war,” the 68-year-old probably meant not to use symbols to support an abusive state regime.
Most of the international federations complied with the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee, which in February, after the military invasion of Ukraine, banned Russian athletes from participating in international events. Because of this situation, the Russians do not participate in the Olympic qualifications. As a result, they may not be present at the Paris 2024 Games.
In an interview in Rome, Bach proposed the position of the IOC, after recent discussions with Olympic stakeholders who were asked to give their views on the possibility of changing the pariah status that stuck to Russia.
“To be clear, it is not necessarily about restoring relations with Russia,” he said. On the other hand – and here is our dilemma – the Russian athletes did not start this war. ”
Bach did not suggest how the mathematicians would object to the war. He understands that dissent and criticism of the Russian army is at risk of several years in prison.
Some Russian athletes publicly supported the war in March, and therefore were banned from the relevant international federations. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Yevgeny Rylov appeared at a pro-war rally attended by Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Gymnast Iwan Kulyak introduced the pro-Army symbol “Z” on his uniform at an international event.
According to media reports, former Russian athletes have been called up for military service as part of the current mobilization. Among them are former heavyweight boxing champion Nikolai Valuev and co-player of the 2008 European Championships, Diniyar Plelitinov.
Some federations, such as tennis and cycling, have allowed Russians to compete internationally as neutral athletes despite the ongoing war. They only banned the use of symbols such as flags and hymns.
The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) was suspended in early 2015 due to state-supported doping violations.
Bach told Corriere della Sera that the mission of the IOC was to be politically neutral and “to organize the Olympic Games and sport in general as something that continues to unite people and humanity”.
“For all these reasons, we now have a real dilemma with the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he added. “We also need to see, investigate and monitor how and when we can get back to accomplishing our mission so that everyone can compete together again, in any way,” concluded the IOC President.
For his part, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Chernyshenko, stressed that “Russian athletes are patriots and do not sell their homeland.” He pointed out that his country organizes new forms of competitions and invites athletes from friendly countries to join.
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source:PAP / cables
Created Date: Yesterday, 22:32
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