After criticism that the IOC wanted to enable athletes from Russia and Belarus to return, IOC President Bach spoke of “double standards”.
IOC President Thomas Bach criticized the political rejection of the decision to return Russian athletes to international competitions as “unfortunate”. “The IOC Executive Director discussed feedback on our recommendations from Tuesday,” the IOC president said in Lausanne on Thursday. And in doing so, we’ve seen some negative reactions, particularly from some European governments.
He could not help but repeat what the Olympic Movement and all stakeholders had made clear before: “It is unfortunate that some governments do not want to respect the majority within the Olympic Movement and all stakeholders, nor the autonomy of sport, which they enjoy in countless speeches, United Nations resolutions and federation declarations. European and on every other occasion praise and demands of other countries. The senior German official spoke of the “double standards that we encountered in our consultations.”
Bach said that governments cannot decide which athletes can participate in any competition. “This would be the end of global sport as we know it today. Players in the Olympic movement are very concerned about the politicization of sport.”
On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes be re-admitted as neutral players in international competitions. According to the decision of the IOC leadership, athletes from both countries who have connections with the military and security services should be disqualified in addition to the teams. Bach stressed that the decision to allow the Russians and Belarusians to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will not be taken until later.
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