IOC Hints Russian Athletes Who Do Not Support War Could Be Allowed to Compete

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, was speaking to the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera. Some Russian winter athletes have already been called up to potentially fight in the war. NEW

“It’s about having athletes with a Russian passport who do not support the war back in competition,” said Thomas Bach.

“Here comes our dilemma – this war has not been started by the Russian athletes.

“We also have to see, and to study, to monitor, how and when we can come back to accomplish our mission to have everybody back again, under which format whatsoever.”

His remarks have been criticised in Moscow.

“Russian athletes are patriots and do not sell their homeland,” said the senior Russian politician, Dmitry Chernyshenko, who has responsibility for sport.

Chernyshenko was President and chief executive of Sochi 2014.

He had the Olympic Order removed by the International Olympic Committee following the Russian war against Ukraine.

Russia hosts Winter Olympics. Image © PlanetSKI

Image © PlanetSKI

In the west some want to keep and extend Russian isolation in all spheres of life, including sport.

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Some Russian winter athletes have been called up potentially to fight against Ukraine.

The Russian government said athletes should not have “exclusive privileges”.

The European figure skating gold-medallist Dmitri Aliev has been summoned and could serve in the Russian army.

Aliev is a double European men’s singles medalist.

He took silver in 2018 and gold in 2020.

He won bronze at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics.

The call-ups come after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilisation of troops for his war against Ukraine.

The Russian Snowboard Federation has said two unnamed snowboarders have been asked to attend the military registration and enlistment office.


Amateur boxing’s governing body has lifted a ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers taking part in its events.

The International Boxing Association (IBA) is led by Russian businessman Umar Kremlev and counts the Russian state-backed energy giant Gazprom among its chief sponsors.

The body said its board of directors had voted to repeal a ban issued in March and said it “strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports”.

The body is currently locked in a dispute with the International Olympic Committee over its governance, having postponed its leadership elections.

Last week, the IBA suspended Ukraine in a dispute over who leads its local federation.

The IBA does not recognise Kyrylo Shevchenko as the Ukrainian federation’s president, insisting it is Volodymyr Prodyvus, an ally of Kremlev who left Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

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