The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, defended this Tuesday the project of reintegration of the Russian and Belarusian athletes under neutral banner within the competitions.
After the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the IOC had sanctioned Russia and Belarus, but is now ready to see their athletes return and compete in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.
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The participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in international competitions works
," Thomas Back said at the opening of the IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
In tennis, Russians and Belarusians still not tolerated
We see this almost every day in many sports,"
Especially in tennis but also in cycling or table tennis.
We see it in ice hockey, handball, football, whether in Europe, the United States or other continents.
Bach points out that "
there were no incidents in these competitions
" where Russian and Belarusian athletes were admitted.
The IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
A claim that some will disagree with.
In tennis, in particular, the tension proved to be palpable with regard to Russian athletes, and the WTA, which manages women's tennis, was singled out for its inaction.
For its part, Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Paris 2024 Games if Russian and Belarusian athletes are admitted, even under a neutral banner.
No "solution that pleases everyone", regrets Bach
Bach believes that politics cannot interfere with sports competitions, and that athletes should not be punished for their passports.
We won't be able to offer a solution that everyone likes,"
We may have to live with that.
Last February, Thomas Bach recalled that it was not "
for governments to decide"
on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in sports competitions, and in particular in the Olympic Games.
In December 2022, the 69-year-old German leader already said he wanted to "
" options for the reinstatement of these athletes.