Russian Olympic bosses react after IOC chief rubs shoulders with Zelensky – Reuters

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has denounced the “widespread interference of Western state structures” in sport

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) attacked “the escalation of anti-Russian hysteria” in sport as the organization leveled accusations of hypocrisy against international Olympic officials. The message came after International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Bach visited Ukraine over the weekend, where he was seen meeting athletes and being greeted by President Zelensky. The Ukrainian leader took the opportunity to demand the maintenance of the exclusion of Russians from world sport, arguing that there is no “No space” for them.

Late last week, Polish Sports and Tourism Minister Kamil Bortniczuk said his counterparts from more than 30 other countries had signed a statement calling for even more restrictions on Russian and Belarusian sport, including suspension of their membership in international organizations and a ban on broadcasts of world events in both countries.

Reacting to the latest developments, Russian Olympic officials issued a statement on Monday condemning what they described as continued political interference in sport, to the detriment of Russian athletes.

“For more than four months, the ROC [Russian Olympic Committee]despite the unprecedented pressure on the Russian sports community and the illegal sanctions against Russian athletes, continues to demonstrate its commitment to the letter and the spirit of the Olympic Charter, to defending the true Olympic values”, read the message posted on the ROC website.

“Unfortunately, the forced escalation of anti-Russian hysteria continues. This is happening in the absence of any reaction to the widespread interference of Western state structures in the affairs of NOCs [National Olympic Committees]who are ordered to support restrictions and suspensions on a national basis, and are banned from participating in competitions where Russians compete.

“It should be noted that a week earlier, the Russian Olympic Committee organized events in Kursk dedicated to the celebration of the All-Russian Olympic Day, which were attended by thousands of residents of the city and guests from neighboring regions.

“As before, children, adults and fans of the Russian team took part in amateur competitions, met Olympic champions and winners of different years and tried out various sports disciplines. Despite everything, all this in a concern for unity, friendship, mutual understanding – as always, Olympic Day was devoted to these universal values. added the letter.

“And yesterday, Ukrainian rockets flew into residential areas of Kursk and Belgorod regions. As a result of the shelling, dozens of residential buildings and civilian infrastructure were destroyed, citizens of the Russian Federation and Ukrainian refugees were killed and injured, who also reportedly took part in Olympic Day events.

“Maybe now colleagues from international sports organizations will also want to visit Kursk or Belgorod?” the message continued, appearing to take a hit during Bach’s meeting with Zelensky despite the IOC’s assertions that politics should not undermine sporting principles.


“Moreover, it is not far from the long-suffering Donbass, where the genocide of the local population has been going on for eight years, and where the concept of ‘refugees’ has become firmly entrenched in everyday life. As in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, in Syria, in Libya, in Afghanistan, in Yemen…

“The rhetoric we are hearing from high places, as well as the restrictions imposed on Russian sports, indicate that the unity of the Olympic movement and a non-discriminatory approach to all its participants in the current situation are being denied under the pressure of a destructive program .

“Recent statements and actions by the IOC continue to bear witness to unprecedented outside interference by forces remote from the true ideals of sport and the Olympic values.

“But one of the main tasks of the International Olympic Committee remains ‘to take measures aimed at strengthening the unity of the Olympic Movement, protecting its independence, maintaining and promoting its political neutrality and preserving the autonomy of sports’ , as well as to ‘counter any form of discrimination prejudicial to the Olympic Movement’.

“The ROC consistently calls on the IOC and international sports organizations to equally protect the rights and legitimate interests of all athletes without exception,” He concluded.

World sport begins to realize mistake of Russian bans – minister

Russian and Belarusian athletes have found themselves sidelined in many sports following an IOC recommendation on February 28 that they should be barred from international events due to the conflict in Ukraine.

IOC chief Bach has always defended this position, saying the bans partly protect athletes from the supposed aggression they would face when competing abroad.

Many prominent figures in Russia have denounced the measures imposed on the country’s athletes as discriminatory, finding them difficult to reconcile with the IOC’s claims that they are protecting Russian athletes rather than targeting them.

Speaking last month, Bach said the IOC should try to avoid pressure from governments in its operations.

“Our cause is to do everything so that we keep sport beyond this political tendency, that our mission is not a political mission, but a humanitarian mission. We can only achieve this if the political authorities respect it”, said the German.

Meeting Zelensky in Ukraine on Sunday, Bach reportedly said that “the time has not yet come to lift such a ban” on Russian and Belarusian athletes.

The IOC also announced the tripling of its fund for Ukrainian athletes to $7.5 million, in the hope that the Ukrainian flag “Fly High” at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and at the Milan-Cortina Winter Games in 2026.

Olympic chief snubbed my plea, says Russian champion


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