It is not without reason that it is necessary to reiterate the concept: there is no ideal solution from sports when in between there is a situation of war aggression between one country and another.
For example, it is unfair to subject a Ukrainian athlete, perhaps with family victims of the conflict, perhaps with their homes or their cities devastated, to having to confront a Russian or Belarusian representative acting as if nothing were happening.
For example, it is unfair to liquidate the sports career of a Russian athlete who, perhaps, even expressed himself clearly against not only war action but also against the conduct of the government of his own country.
As if dualities of this magnitude were not enough, the Russian Olympic Committee made some decisions that, from so obvious that the consequences are supposed, would even seem something like self-sabotage to the pretensions of maintaining some kind of Olympic status.
The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is meeting in Bombay, India, announced the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with “immediate effect”.
In the statement, the IOC explained that the resolution is due to the fact that “the unilateral decision adopted by the Russian Olympic Committee on October 5, 2023 to include, as members, regional sports organizations that are under the authority of the National Olympic Committee (CON) of Ukraine (namely, Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhia) constitutes a violation of the Olympic Charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the UN of Ukraine recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in accordance with the Olympic Charter.”
The body chaired by Thomas Bach said that the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is “with immediate effect until further notice” and stressed that because of this decision “the Russian Olympic Committee no longer has the right to function as a National Olympic Committee, as defined in the Olympic Charter, and cannot receive any type of funding from the Olympic Movement”.
After the Executive Board meeting, the 141st Session of the International Olympic Committee will also take place in Bombay from 15 to 17 October and a resolution is expected on the presence of athletes from Russia and Belarus at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Regarding this situation, in the statement on the suspension of the ROC, the organization stated that “as indicated in the IOC Position and Recommendations of March 28, 2023, which are still fully in force, the IOC reserves the right to decide on the participation of individual neutral athletes with a Russian passport in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics at the appropriate time.”
In the last update, on October 9 and after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) enabled the presence of Russian and Belarusian athletes under the status of neutrals and in individual events, the IOC once again spoke out in favor of them being able to participate in Paris 2024.
“The IOC takes note of the IPC decisions, which are in line with the IOC’s recommendations to International Federations and Sports Event Organizers. The IOC is encouraged by the numerous International Federations that have already organized international sporting events, and even world championships, successfully implementing our recommendations. We are seeing that the participation of individual neutral athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports in international competitions is widely accepted by the athlete community,” said the IOC, noting: “We are here to support athletes from all over the world to make their Olympic dreams come true. We continue to promote the participation of all athletes who accept the rules, respect the Olympic Charter and have qualified on the field of play.”