Sports policy: Bach criticizes “negative reactions” to the Russia decision

sports policy
Bach criticizes “negative reactions” to the Russia decision

Criticizes the reactions to the IOC recommendation: IOC President Thomas Bach. photo

© Bernd Weißbrod/dpa

There is criticism, especially from Western countries, that the IOC wants to enable athletes from Russia and Belarus to return. IOC President Bach speaks of a “double standard”.

IOC President Thomas Bach has criticized the political rejection of the decision to reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions as “regrettable”.

“The IOC Executive has discussed the reactions to our recommendations from Tuesday,” said the head of the International Olympic Committee. “In doing so, we have noted some negative reactions, particularly from some European governments.”

He could only reiterate what the Olympic Movement and all stakeholders have made very clear before: “That 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 have in countless Speeches, UN resolutions, EU declarations and on every other occasion praise and demand of other countries.”

Bach: “Doppelmoral”

The top German official spoke of a “double standard that we were confronted with in our consultations.” However, the discussions and reactions from the Olympic movement made it very clear that these government interventions “strengthened the unity of the Olympic movement”.

“All those involved make it clear once again: It cannot be up to governments to decide which athletes can take part in which competitions. This would be the end of world sport as we know it today,” affirmed Bach. “The players in the Olympic movement are very concerned about this politicization of sport.”

From Germany, too, there had been strong rejection of the recommendation of the IOC executive to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in international competitions again. Linked to this are criteria intended to guarantee the neutrality of athletes from these two countries.



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