Russia question at Olympics: nations discuss reaction to IOC position

Status: 02/09/2023 11:01 p.m

On Friday, politicians from over 30 nations will discuss a joint response to the IOC’s push to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

At the initiative of Great Britain, more than 30 nations are discussing a joint reaction to the announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that athletes from Russia and Belarus are to be allowed to take part in international competitions under certain conditions. Parliamentary State Secretary Mahmut Özdemir (SPD) will take part in the appointment for Germany. This was confirmed by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for sports, at the German Press Agency.

Sports ministers or high-ranking representatives from European countries such as France and Poland, but also from the USA and Canada want to evaluate the topic on Friday and find a common answer to the IOC position, according to an announcement by the British Ministry for Digital, Culture and Media and sport. A clearly negative attitude, especially with a view to the 2024 Olympics in Paris, is considered likely.

Faeser: “Sports events don’t take place in a vacuum.”

“The fact that the IOC is apparently opening the door again to Russian athletes and wants to enable them to take part in the Olympic Games is completely the wrong way.”, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said at the end of January. The SPD politician added: “Sport should be clear in its condemnation of the brutal war that Putin is waging against Ukrainian civilians. Major sporting events do not take place in a vacuum.” Unconditional solidarity with Ukrainian athletes “only with an exclusion of Russia” go hand in hand, said Faeser.

Currently, Russia and Belarus are excluded from many international sports competitions. However, the IOC is aiming for athletes from both countries to return to the international sports stage under neutral flags, provided they clearly commit to the Olympic Charter and do not actively support the war in Ukraine. IOC President Thomas Bach had recently declared an exclusion “because of a passport or place of birth” violate the prohibition of discrimination.

Ukraine is already threatening a boycott

The Ukraine even threatened to boycott Paris. The sports associations in Northern Europe have already spoken out in an open letter against a possible return of athletes from Russia and Belarus. In the current situation, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is also not in favor of participating in the 2024 Olympic Games in the French capital.


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