The International Olympic Committee has updated the recommendations regarding the participation of athletes from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Serbia in international competitions. Since the end of February 2022, the IOC has not recommended the admission of athletes from these countries due to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. And already at the end of March 2023 – exactly 13 months after the introduced recommendations – he introduced others.
According to the decision of the IOC Executive Committee, international federations will decide on the admission of Russians and Belarusians at their own discretion. The IOC recommends admitting them in a neutral status, prohibiting participation in competitions by teams, as well as athletes representing the armed forces or the national guard. At the same time, the IOC has not yet considered the issue of admission of Russians and Belarusians to the 2024 and 2026 Olympics.
After the updated recommendations of the IOC Vadim GutzeitMinister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and President of the NOC of Ukraine, spoke about the situation:
“I want to say frankly that I am worried about our athletes, our national teams and all Ukrainians in general, because it was very important for us that athletes from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Serbia should not be anywhere in the sports arenas. Unfortunately, today…You have seen all our work. We did everything possible on our diplomatic front. I want to say that thanks to the President of Ukraine and the President of the NOC of Ukraine, a lot has been done for all federations. We have worked with every country and federation. All presidents of the All-Ukrainian Federations joined and worked in their respective federations. It was important to us that this decision was made now [щодо допуску росіян та білорусів] will be hosted by each Federation in each sport.
This decision will help return the Russians to those federations that wanted to do it anyway. And Ukraine’s job will be to prevent them. We assume that these rules are for those federations that have admitted or have a desire to admit Russian and Belarusian athletes. In the future, we will work and do our part so that all international federations that have not yet admitted athletes from the aggressor countries will not admit them.
We know that the International Fencing Federation returned Russian and Belarusian athletes even before these IOC recommendations. But this will happen only according to the criteria provided by the International Olympic Committee. The World Athletics Federation does not return Russian and Belarusian athletes, the Hockey Federation does not return, the Curling Federation does not return either. That is, now it is important for us that we already work with specific federations. All our presidents of the All-Ukrainian Federations should work with their international federations regarding the non-admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes. Therefore, the IOC provided recommendations for International Sports Federations that want to admit Russians and Belarusians. And this is only on an individual basis. The participation of any Russians and Belarusians in the form of teams in international competitions was not considered.
The admission of athletes and personnel from aggressor states who support the war or are military personnel or employees of any law enforcement agencies is prohibited. This is what we constantly emphasized in our communication with the IOC, that there are almost 70% of athletes who are in the armed forces and are military personnel.
They all receive salaries in the armed forces, are in CSKA, Dynamo clubs. We all know that their special services have their own teams and they get paid there. They have dividends from the places where they are. Now we need to track it, find out who and where it is. Find those who are in the Armed Forces, are a member of the military or in other law enforcement agencies. And as I understand it, to cooperate with international federations so that they do not allow them. It will be difficult work, but we will have to do it.”
Leave a Reply