The IOC attacks the “Friendship Games” promoted by Russia

The IOC attacks the “Friendship Games” promoted by Russia

He International Olympic Committee (IOC) this Tuesday toughened its position regarding Russia accuses Moscow of wanting to “politicize sport” by promoting its ‘Friendship Games’ starting in September, a sporting event that will compete with the Olympic Games, also with a winter edition.

He IOC, that will authorize the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Paris-2024 If they do so under a neutral flag and on condition of not having supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine, urges the sports world and the governments invited by Moscow to “refuse all participation and support” for this new event, the instance indicated in a statement.

Announced a few months ago, the first ‘Friendship Games’ (in the European summer) They should “a priori be held in Moscow and Yekaterinburg” in September, recalled the Lausanne-based organization, while the winter edition would be held for the first time in Sochi in 2026.

These initiatives join the “Future Games”, organized in Kazan from February 21 to March 3 and that will mix traditional disciplines with e-Sports, and the ‘BRICS Games’ scheduled in the same Russian city from June 12 to 23 and in which “athletes from 50 countries” would participate, according to the authorities of Moscow.

He IOC does not reproach Russia for creating multi-sport competitions outside the Olympic scope (which already exist as the Commonwealth Games or the Francophonie Games), but if to do it through an “intense diplomatic offensive”, with direct contacts with “the governments of the entire world”.

“In order to make their purely political motivation even more evident, the latter deliberately avoid the sports organizations of their target countries,” denounces the IOC, who sees a “cynical attempt” to exploit athletes “for political propaganda purposes”, thus violating the Olympic Charter.

On the other hand, the IOC accuses Moscow of “a total lack of respect for global anti-doping regulations and the integrity of competitions”, recalling the concerns raised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the ‘Friendship Games’, motivated by the system of institutionalized doping put into practice by Russia during the Sochi-2014 Winter Games and which caused its exclusion from Tokyo-2021 and Beijing-2022.

He IOC recalled that “global confidence in the Russian anti-doping system is weak” because the Russian Anti-Doping Agency is not currently subject to the World Anti-Doping Code since “there is currently no WADA-accredited laboratory in Russia.”


Russia makes war on the IOC, organizing Games parallel to the Paris 2024 Games


The IOC and Moscow have had tense relations for years, accusing each other of exploiting sport for political purposes. This Tuesday’s statement rules out a short-term rapprochement.

The position of the Olympic body contrasts with that of the Russian government, which last Wednesday adopted a more conciliatory tone when Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin ruled out a Russian boycott of Paris-2024, preferring to “maintain the possibility of dialogue and participation in the competitions”.

He IOC He refrained from commenting on Matytsin’s words and his president, Thomas Bach, denounced on Saturday “the increasingly aggressive statements by Russia.”

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron gave an interview on Sunday to the Ukrainian network 1+1 in which he declared that Russia will be asked for a ceasefire in Ukraine during the Paris Games (July 26 to August 11). ), in application of the Olympic Truce adopted at the end of November by the United Nations General Assembly after heated debates.

The Russian representative then denounced that the IOC’s decision to deprive Russian athletes of competing representing their country was “a politicized, discriminatory and hypocritical decision.”

The executive committee of IOC, which meets hy and malana in Lausanne, must still decide whether to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes participating under a neutral flag in Paris to participate in the opening parade of the Games, on July 26 in Paris.

Source: Ambito

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