National governments should not decide which athletes can compete. This was announced on February 12 by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
“We take human rights issues very seriously and take them into account. But national governments should not decide who can participate in international sports competitions. Such an approach would be the end for all international tournaments, ”the TV channel quoted him as saying. France24.
Bach recalled that athletes from Russia and Belarus competed under a neutral flag at the recent Australian Open. He wondered why this could not happen in swimming or gymnastics, reports “Gazeta.Ru”.
Prior to this, on February 9, Bach said that most members of the sports community regretfully took Ukraine’s attempts to put pressure on them due to the possible admission of athletes from Russia to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Bach also added that each National Olympic Committee has an obligation to abide by the principles of the Olympic Charter.
On February 3, Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Vadim Gutzeit said that the country’s NOC opposes the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions while the special military operation (SVO) continues.
Earlier, on January 27, Bach said that athletes from Russia and Belarus could participate in the 2024 Summer Olympics under a neutral flag. He stressed that the boycott of Ukraine, which was threatened by Gutzeit, does not correspond to the mission of the committee.
On February 28, 2022, the IOC itself recommended that international sports federations not allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions due to the situation around the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
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