ROC President expects Russia to host Olympics in near future

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee, has voiced his expectations for the Russian Federation to host the Olympic Games in the near future. His country will likely have to rely on, and overcome, it’s recent record of hosting major international events.

President of the Olympic Committee of Russia Stanislav Pozdnyakov speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
President of the Olympic Committee of Russia Stanislav Pozdnyakov speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has talked up the Olympic hosting capabilities of the Russian Federation. He told Russian state news agency, TASS, that Moscow should expect to host the Olympic Games in the near future.

Speaking to TASS, Pozdnyakov stated, “it is necessary to expect this. To date, the approach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the formation of certain applications has altered.”

“The colleagues are moving forward with reducing the associated costs of the Games. Firstly, applications will be submitted where the infrastructure necessary for the Games already exists, in this regard, Russia is one of the priority areas.”

He continued, “over the past 10-20 years, our country has moved much further in increasing the quantity and quality of sports infrastructure for almost all sports.

“Although there are a number of disciplines where problems remain, but this is rather an exception to the rule.”

“In the 1990s, we had a base in Novogorsk and half-destroyed in the Lake Krugloe, and now there are construction projects everywhere.”

FILE PHOTO: A man carries the Russian flag past the Olympic rings at the Olympic Park during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 22, 2014. World Anti-Doping Agency has banned on December 9, 2019 Russian athletes from all major sporting events in the next four years.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A man carries the Russian flag past the Olympic rings at the Olympic Park during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 22, 2014. World Anti-Doping Agency has banned on December 9, 2019 Russian athletes from all major sporting events in the next four years. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Russia has hosted the Olympic Games on two occasions. Moscow hosted the Summer Olympics in 1980, while Sochi played host to the Winter Olympics in 2014.

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in particular have defined much of Russia’s current Olympic legacy. The massive price tag of the 2014 Winter Olympics has haunted the Olympic bidding process for the last few cycles. It is widely regarded to have influenced the IOC’s efforts to drive down the cost associated with the Olympic Games, after a lack of interested host cities.

Sochi 2014′s legacy is also tainted by its association with Russia’s extensive state sponsored doping program. During the Games, Russia’s government helped Russian athletes fool the anti-doping system by swapping out tainted urine samples. The consequences of those actions continue to impact Russian sports.

In fact, as part of the sanctions levied against the Russian Federation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in response to that state sponsored doping program, Russia is currently banned from bidding for major sporting events like the Olympic Games until the end of 2022.

A visitor walks past an exposition displaying images of Misha the Bear, the mascot of the 1980 Olympic Games, inside the headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow, Russia December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
A visitor walks past an exposition displaying images of Misha the Bear, the mascot of the 1980 Olympic Games, inside the headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow, Russia December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

This ban has left Russia completely out of the bidding for the 2032 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Brisbane, Australia, and likely out of the bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics, meaning the earliest Russia could hope to host the Olympics would be in 2034 or 2036.

Despite the fallout from their state sponsored doping program, Russia has hosted many major international sporting events over the last decade.

Kazan hosted the FISU Summer University Games in 2013; Saint Petersburg hosted the Sportaccord World Combat Games in the same year, with Moscow also hosting the World Athletics Championships; Sochi hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014; Kazan hosted the World Aquatics Championships in 2015; cities across the country then played host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup; Krasnoyarsk then hosted the most recent edition of the FISU Winter University Games in 2019, with Yekaterinburg slated to host the 2023 FISU Summer University Games.

With a record as strong as that, the odds of Russia landing an Olympic bid in the future seem likely, though the Eurasian nation will have to overcome the legacy of its state sponsored doping program and a high cost Winter Olympics.