While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not intend to rush to make a decision regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris Games in the summer of 2024, the parliamentary embly of the Council of Europe is pronounced, Thursday, June 22, for the total exclusion of these Russian athletes “as long as Russia’s war of aggression continues”.
In a resolution adopted at its summer plenary session, taking place this week in Strasbourg, the embly urged “the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its constituent sports bodies to maintain the position expressed in 2022 and to prohibit participation” of these athletes at the next Olympic Games and “all other major sporting events”.
On Wednesday, the IOC Executive Committee, meeting for two days in Lausanne (Switzerland), preferred to postpone any communication on this subject, considering that “the right thing to do” is of “see how things are going”explained his spokesperson, Mark Adams.
“There is still a long time for this decision to be made”he argued, while adding: “I can’t give a timeline. » End of March, the IOC had recommended to the international sports federations to reinstate the Russians and the Belarusians under neutral bannerprovided that they did not support the war in Ukraine.
A dozen federations have already done so. Of which judo, on the occasion of the last world championships, in Qataror even fencing, which chose to organize the individual European championships in Bulgaria rather than in Poland, within the framework of the European games, in order to be able to welcome the Russians and the Belarusians.
“A propaganda tool”
IOC President Thomas Bach deplored the Ukrainian boycott of several recent competitions to protest against the reinstatement of Russian and Belarusian athletes. “It is really difficult to understand why the Ukrainian government is depriving its own athletes of a chance to qualify for the 2024 Olympics, and depriving the Ukrainian public of this pride”he said on Thursday during the 140th session of the embly of the Olympic body.
Bach dismissed Ukrainian and Russian pressure back to back: “the Russian side wants us to ignore the war, the Ukrainian side wants us to isolate anyone with a Russian or Belarusian pport”.
The Parliamentary embly of the Council of Europe (PACE) considers, in its resolution, that any participation of these athletes is “unthinkable” And “would certainly be used as a propaganda tool and would de facto prevent other athletes – in particular Ukrainians – from participating”.
According to PACE, “it seems impossible that they can demonstrate their neutrality and distance from these regimes, let alone make a statement against the war”they added, and those who would “would put themselves in a dangerous situation”.
Positions of Russian IOC members analyzed
In addition, the IOC Ethics Committee will examine the case of Russian members of the Olympic body, current and honorary. As for the sportsmen, it will analyze in detail their position on the conflict in Ukraine and their links with the army or national security agencies.
“Le Monde” deciphers the news and the challenges of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“In order to avoid having different standards between athletes, national officials and IOC members in Russia, the same conditions for participation in international IOC events apply”Mr. Adams said.
Are particularly concerned by this “investigation”, Yelena Isinbayeva and Shamil Tarpischev, as well as the quadruple Olympic swimming champion Alexandre Popov.
“The situation of the IOC members concerned will be essed at the time of the events from February 24, 2022 and since then”said Adams.