Home Sports Russia getting aggressive towards Olympics: Bach | The Express Tribune

Russia getting aggressive towards Olympics: Bach | The Express Tribune

Russia getting aggressive towards Olympics: Bach  | The Express Tribune



Russia’s government is becoming increasingly aggressive towards the International Olympic Committee as the Paris Games draw near, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Tuesday.

Russia sports minister Oleg Matytsin said last week Russia should not boycott the July 26 to Aug. 11 Games despite restrictions on its athletes imposed by the IOC over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The IOC will allow Russian and Belarusian athletes who qualify to take part as neutrals without their countries’ flags, emblems or national anthems.

“As far as their participation is concerned, we have heard the rather polite signal (from the Russian sports minister) … but on the other hand, we’ve also seen the government’s very aggressive comments,” Bach told French daily Le Monde.

He added that their participation in the opening and closing ceremonies would be discussed on Tuesday and Wednesday at the IOC’s executive board. “The IOC doesn’t comment, but we can see that the government’s aggressiveness is growing by the day, against the IOC, against the Games, against me,” he said.

“They range from ‘fascist’ to ‘destroyer of the Games and the Olympic movement’. And it all comes from Russian officials. I don’t know if it’s coming from Vladimir Putin himself, I don’t look at Telegram every day, I’m not that masochistic, but the attacks are coming from all levels.”

Bach also ruled out the idea of Israeli athletes taking part as neutrals in Paris amid growing criticism over Israel’s military campaign against Hamas in Gaza. “Things are very clear. Unlike the Russian Olympic Committee, the Israeli Olympic Committee has not violated the Olympic Charter,” the German said. “The Russian Olympic Committee wants to exercise its authority over the regions annexed by the Russian government. This is a violation of the territorial integrity and the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine. “In the Olympic world, we have had for 30 years what the political world calls a two-state solution: we have an Israeli National Olympic Committee and a Palestinian National Olympic Committee.

“These two national Olympic committees have coexisted peacefully for 30 years,” he added. Bach guaranteed there would be Palestinian athletes in Paris. “If not enough Palestinian athletes qualify, we will invite them. We will be able to rely on our Olympic solidarity programme, which stipulates that at least six athletes per National Olympic Committee are required,” he said.


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