The International Olympic Committee rejected on Tuesday Russia’s request that its athletes receive the same treatment as those of other countries, in a growing dispute about the participation of Russia Y belarus in the Paris 2024 Games.
“Sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian state and governments They are not negotiable”said an IOC spokesman.
The debate had intensified since the IOC said last week it was examining a “way” for the Russians to compete in Paris, likely as neutral athletes and not under their national flag.
This caused a furious response from kyivin which a Ukrainian presidential adviser accused the IOC of being a “war promoter.”
Ukraine threatened to boycott the Paris Games if the Russians were allowed to participate.
On Tuesday, Stanislav Pozdnyakovhead of the Russian Olympic Committee, advocated full participation.
“The Russians must participate in exactly the same conditions as the other athletes. Any additional conditions or criteria will not be welcome, especially those with political connotations, which are totally unacceptable for the Olympic movement,” Pozdnyakov stated, according to Russian news agencies.
Russia and his ally belaruswhich allowed its territory to be used as a logistics base when Moscow launched its offensive in Ukraine last February, have been sidelined from most Olympic sports since the conflict began.
Pozdnyakov stated that his organization welcomed the IOC’s efforts to allow Russian athletes to compete.
“But as for the additional conditions, we strongly disagree. The Olympic Charter establishes that all athletes must participate on equal terms, ”he added.
The IOC was quick to reply that the sanctions against Russia and Belarus “had been unanimously confirmed at the recent Olympic summit on December 9.”
And the penalties are:
a) “No international sporting event organized or supported by an international sports federation or a national Olympic committee in Russia or Belarus.”
b) “The flag, anthem, colors or any other identification of these countries will not be displayed at any sporting event or meeting.”
c) “No government or state official of Russia and Belarus should be invited or accredited for any international sporting event or meeting.”
Prior to the IOC’s response, the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelenskydeclared that Russia’s participation in the Paris Olympics would amount to demonstrating that “terror can supposedly be something acceptable”.
Last week, Zelensky declared that he had invited the IOC president, Thomas Bachto visit the Ukrainian city of Bakhmutlocated on the front line, “so you can see for yourself that neutrality does not exist.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kulebasaid on Monday that of the 71 medals Russian competitors won at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 45 went to athletes who were members of the Russian Army Central Sports Club, or CSKA.
“The army that commits atrocities, kills, rapes and loots,” Kuleba said. “This is the one the ignorant IOC wants to put under (the) white flag by allowing him to (compete).”
“Russian propaganda efforts”
The Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkevicsdeclared on Tuesday that his country opposes any participation of Russian athletes at the Olympic Games in Paris, stating that it would be “immoral and wrong.”
After meeting in Riga with his counterparts from the Baltic countries and Poland, Rinkevics called for the isolation of Russia while it continues its offensive in Ukraine.
“As all tyrannies do, it uses sport for political purposes. The IOC must not become complicit in Russian propaganda effortsRinkevics stated.
However, the Olympic Council of Asia last week offered Russian and Belarusian athletes the chance to compete in the asian games this year, arguing that “all athletes, regardless of their nationality or the passport they hold, should be able to compete in sporting competitions.”
This was an important move, because it would allow athletes from those two countries to reach the qualification levels they would need to compete in Paris.
The IOC reiterated last week that the international federations of each Olympic sport were “the sole authority for their international competitions.”
(With information from AFP)
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