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IOC President Thomas Bach on the return of Russian athletes: "It's not up to the governments"


Thomas Bach recently pushed for the re-admission of Russian athletes in world sports - and received a lot of opposition. The IOC President has now criticized the interference of several politicians.

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IOC President Thomas Bach


IOC President Thomas Bach has criticized the interference of several Western politicians in sport and specifically in the "Russia question".

"It is not up to the governments to decide who can participate in which sports competitions, because that would be the end of international sports competitions, the world championships and the Olympic Games as we know them," said the 69-year-old on Sunday on the sidelines of the Alpine Ski World Championships in Courchevel, France.

"History" will show "who does more for peace," emphasized the chairman of the International Olympic Committee: "Those who try to keep borders open and to communicate.

Or those who want to isolate and divide.«

On Friday, government officials from 36 nations came together virtually to discuss the IOC proposal that athletes from Russia and Belarus could return to world sport as neutral athletes.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), represented at the sports summit by Parliamentary State Secretary Mahmut Özdemir (SPD), then reiterated its position over the past few months: "In our view, there is no reason for Russian and Belarusian sport to return to competitions invite,” said a BMI spokesman.

The Ukrainian athletes must “continue to have the unrestricted solidarity and support of the international sports community.

The efforts of the IOC to resume the Russian and Belarusian athletes are the wrong way, "explained the Federal Ministry responsible for sport.

Representatives from England and the Baltic States also took a similarly clear position.

A joint statement by the participants was promised in the coming days.

The reaction from Russia was, as expected, clear.

“Trying to dictate the conditions for athletes to participate in international competitions is absolutely unacceptable.

We are currently seeing an undisguised desire to destroy the unity of world sport,” Sports Minister Oleg Matysin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Saturday.


Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-02-12

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