Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin condemned attempts to cut the country
Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said the country was not isolated despite a series of “unacceptable” sanctions from various federations, and that officials would work to develop competitions in Russia that invite international athletes.
Russia was hit with another sports ban on Thursday when the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that Russian and Belarusian athletes would be barred from the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, despite allowing them to compete as neutral a day before.
The IPC had resisted an earlier recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban all Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in global competitions, but relented after being threatened with boycotts by rival nations while also citing the “the influence of governments” as he announced the ban.
Replying, Russian Sports Minister Matytsin said Russia was not completely isolated despite the best efforts of some federations.
“In the near future, a program will be developed for a system of competitions on the territory of the Russian Federation with the participation of the maximum number of foreign athletes”, Matytsin said, according to TASS.
“First of all, Belarusian athletes, [and] a system of competitions with the CEI [Commonwealth of Independent States]SOC [Shanghai Cooperation Organization]and BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa].
“We are not isolated, we are continuing contact with the international federations. We hope that these are temporary measures and that reason will prevail and that the entire international community will understand that the split that is happening now is unacceptable.
“Sport must act as one of the conductors of diplomacy and the restoration of human values”, Matytsin added.
Elsewhere, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has published its response to the recent round of sporting sanctions, stressing that the bans “seriously violate the principles of the International Olympic Movement.”
“Russian athletes are discriminated against on the basis of nationality and citizenship… Paradoxically, the IOC, in its decision of February 28, 2022, explicitly stated that the punishment of innocent athletes is unfair and that the IOC will stand for fair competition without any discrimination. “, the statement read.
“As a result of the decisions taken, thousands of Russian athletes are currently deprived of the possibility of participating in international competitions simply because they are citizens of the Russian Federation.
The ROC Athletes’ Commission went so far as to call the anti-Russian sanctions a “sports genocide” against national athletes.
A “sports genocide” is perpetrated against Russian athletes, according to a union
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