Russia criticizes the IOC recommendation on its athletes as “arbitrary and openly discriminatory”

Archive - IOC President Thomas Bach of Germany

Archive – IOC President Thomas Bach of Germany – Bernd Weibrod/dpa – Archive

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MOSCOW, 29 Mar. (dpa/EP) –

The Russian government has reacted critically to the decision taken on Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to propose, under certain conditions, the readmission of its athletes, which it considers “arbitrary and openly discriminatory.”

The IOC has proposed allowing the return of Russians and Belarusians, banned from competitions due to their countries’ role in the invasion of Ukraine, as neutral athletes and under strict criteria, such as not actively supporting the war and not training as clubs linked to the armed and security forces.

The body chaired by Thomas Bach also wants to exclude team sports from the proposal and announced that it will make a decision on their participation in the Paris Olympics next year later.

“The IOC’s recommendations for classifying Russian athletes are arbitrary, and its decision regarding team sports is openly discriminatory,” Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said on his ministry’s Telegram channel.

The politician lamented that Russian athletes “are invited to enter through a half-open door, but at the same time additional obstacles are created for them.” “Athletes train hard for years to compete (…). It’s their job, it’s their life, and it would be inhumane to deprive them of this opportunity,” he said.

For his part, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Stanislav Pozdnyakov, said that the “announced parameters are absolutely unacceptable”, in statements collected by the state news agency TASS.

“Neutral status is a violation of human rights, as a UN expert has pointed out. We consider the proposed conditions unreasonable, legally unsound and excessive. We strongly disagree with additional anti-doping procedures for Russian athletes “, he added.