Matytsin: IOC conditions for the return of Russians to tournaments are contrary to the Olympic Charter
MOSCOW, 25 Jan – Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin believes that it is unacceptable to determine special conditions that are inconsistent with the Olympic Charter for the participation of Russian athletes in international tournaments.
On Wednesday, the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its meeting considered the initiatives that were discussed in December at the IOC summit, held online. Also before the meeting, representatives of the IOC Executive Committee held relevant consultations on January 17-19 with other members of the Olympic Movement, international sports organizations and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The IOC called for additional study of the issue of the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in competitions under strict conditions. They will have to act in the status of “neutral athletes”. Only those athletes who adhere to the Olympic Charter, that is, do not support a special operation in Ukraine, and also comply with the anti-doping rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), will be able to participate in international tournaments. All athletes will be required to undergo individual doping tests.
“External pressure has given us another opportunity to evaluate our own resources and do everything possible to strengthen the national sports system. We are a self-sufficient country with great sports traditions, which has shown its capabilities in hosting major international sports events, which were positively noted, including by the IOC. For Over the past decades, we have confirmed that without Russia, the development of the international sports movement is impossible. There are no friendly and unfriendly countries in sports for us, we adhere to true sports values and insist on the inadmissibility of political interference in sports. Solidarity must always be the overriding principle. Sports have always been and will be remain a mechanism for constructive dialogue and the main one for strengthening relations between countries and peoples,” the minister added.
At the end of February 2022, the IOC recommended that international sports federations not allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete due to the situation in Ukraine. A number of international federations excluded Russians and Belarusians from competitions under their auspices, and also canceled the competitions in Russia, other federations allowed athletes in a neutral status.