The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the German Thomas Bach, defended on Tuesday the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to competitions under a neutral flag and said that it is a formula that “works” since there have been no “incidents of security”.
“The participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in international competitions works. We see this almost daily in sports like tennis, but also in cycling, in table tennis. We see it in ice hockey, in handball, we see it in soccer and other leagues in the United States,” Bach told Britain’s Sky News.
The IOC leader highlighted, in his opening speech at the organization’s Executive Committee meeting in Lausanne (Switzerland), that “in none of these competitions have there been any security incidents.”
The IOC analyzed this Tuesday whether to continue with the veto imposed on Russian and Belarusian athletes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the information highlights.
On the eve of the IOC Executive Committee meeting, Bach had already defended the return of the sanctioned athletes “because otherwise the international sports system would go into decline if athletes are excluded for political reasons,” said the leader.