IOC says criticism of Russian athletes’ return to sport is ‘blame’ Olympics news

The International Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be allowed to participate in world sports; Governments, including in Ukraine, have opposed the decision, saying they have no place in world sport while the war is still ongoing.

Last Updated: 03/30/23 3:04 pm

IOC President Thomas Bach has described criticism of Russia's return to sport as 'reproachable'

IOC President Thomas Bach has described criticism of Russia’s return to sport as ‘reproachable’

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, has described criticism directed at the governing body of several European governments as “reprehensible”.

On Wednesday, the IOC issued a series of recommendations to international sports federations to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to return.

Athletes from both countries have been banned from some Olympic sports since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Governments in Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic among others were angered by the IOC’s announcement on Wednesday, saying that athletes from the two countries have no place in sport as the war continues ongoing.

However, Bach responded to the criticism, describing it as “reprehensible”.

Bach spoke at a press conference on Thursday

Bach spoke at a press conference on Thursday

“It is unfortunate to see that some governments do not want to respect the majority in the Olympic movement and all its stakeholders, as well as the autonomy of sport,” Bach said.

“It is deplorable that these governments do not address the question of double standards. We have not seen a single comment on their attitude towards the participation of athletes from 70 countries in 70 wars. wars and other armed conflicts in the world.”

The announcement does not include the 2024 Paris Olympics and a separate decision will be made at a later date, but the IOC’s latest recommendations will allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to return to world sport. gender.

“Government intervention has strengthened the unity of the Olympic movement,” Bach added.

“Governments cannot decide which athletes can enter which competitions. This will be the end of world sport as we know it today.”

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