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Russian sports figures react to IOC president’s remarks

Thomas Bach said that now “is not the time” to lift the ban on Russian athletes

Prominent figures in Russian sports and politics have reacted to comments made by the president of the International Olympic Committee, (IOC) Thomas Bach from an ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) General Assembly in Seoul on Wednesday.

The IOC recommended that Russian athletes should be banned from the international sporting arena after their country launched the military operation in Ukraine in late February.

But Bach sent out mixed signals at the ANOC General Assembly by insisting that athletes should not be punished for government policy but he also said that now is “not the time” to lift the ban.

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© Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images
Olympic chief says ‘not the time’ to lift Russian bans

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said that the first day of the ANOC General Assembly “was not easy.” 

“There was also marginal rhetoric against Russia from individual participants,” he explained to the media, with the Olympic committees of Denmark and others contesting the ROC’s presence.

“However, the main result is the position of the vast majority of NOCs on the inadmissibility of discrimination against athletes for political reasons.

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“It sounded clear enough. This was confirmed by IOC president, Thomas Bach,” Pozdnyakov added.

Reacting to Bach’s remarks, Russian State Duma Deputy Dmitry Svishchev said the IOC president had “changed his position several times already.” 

“Either to not allow athletes, then to allow them but without a flag … He has already driven the Olympic movement into a corner with his statements. He had to declare that there should be no political background [to rulings], removing the IOC from political pressure. He must stand up for this first of all.” Svishchev noted.

“Now he says that the time has not yet come [to lift the ban]. So let him say when that time comes! We have been under sanctions since 2014, and we have already adapted to this.

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“We must definitely continue to work with both the IOC and the international federations. Bach’s statements have nothing to do with the position of the entire IOC,” Svishchev added to reporters.

Roman Teryushkov, who is a member of the State Duma Committee on Sports and Physical Culture, said that “nothing has changed and will not change in principle” in Bach’s rhetoric.

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IOC chief defends Russian and Belarusian committees

“One only has to look at the jurisdiction in which the IOC itself and the vast majority of international federations are registered,” Teryushkov suggested.

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“Other IOC member countries must understand that after Russia and Belarus they may be next in the game of the collective West. Russia and Belarus are just precedents for manipulation in big world politics.”

“If the policy of some countries does not suit the West, then they will [take] the place of Russian and Belarusian athletes and federations,” he explained to Match TV.

https://ift.tt/KWGp34S 19, 2022 at 09:27PM
from RT – Daily news

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