The authorities of Western countries should not interfere in sports and influence the discussion about the possible admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions, declared on Sunday, February 12, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach in Courchevel on the eve of the Alpine Skiing World Championships.
“It is not for governments to decide who has the right to take part in certain sports, since such interference would be the end of international sports competitions, world championships and the Olympic Games as we know them,” — quotes the words of Bach, the German magazine Der Spiegel.
As the head of the IOC emphasized, history will show who does more to establish peace – the one who tries “keep borders open and advocate interaction”or whoever wants “isolate and split”. He added that the Olympic Committee is currently working on finding a solution for the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes, which “would be in line with the mission of the sport”. According to Bach, this mission is to unite, not to disunite and foment confrontation and escalation.
“Our role is to bring people together” – summed up the head of the IOC.
On February 10, representatives of the governments of 36 countries held an online meeting, during which they considered the IOC initiative on the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions in a neutral status, subject to a number of conditions. According to the results of the meeting, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of Lithuania noted that more than 30 countries supported Vilnius in its intention to oppose the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris Olympics. Among those who supported the initiative of Lithuania were the ministers of Australia, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Poland, the USA, France, Japan, the Nordic countries and other Baltic countries.
The Ministry of the Interior of Germany, which was represented at the online summit Mahmut Ozdemirlater confirmed skepticism about the IOC initiative, noting that “at the moment there is no reason to invite Russian and Belarusian sports to participate in competitions”.
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