Sanctions disturb IOC boss Bach: Russia's return is near thanks to "creative proposal"

The head of Russia's Olympic Committee is on site at the International Olympic Committee summit, and German officials are not invited.

Sanctions disturb IOC boss Bach: Russia's return is near thanks to "creative proposal"

The head of Russia's Olympic Committee is on site at the International Olympic Committee summit, and German officials are not invited. IOC boss Thomas Bach is campaigning for lifting the ban on athletes from Russia and Belarus despite the war of aggression. And gets support.

Russia drops bombs. Russia attacks Ukraine with drones. Russia destroys and kills. And yet - despite the "blatant break with the Olympic Treaty and the Olympic Charter" - Russia may soon be allowed to send out top athletes again. At the Olympic Summit, the IOC's self-proclaimed summit, the Russians' return to world sport was drawing near.

The gateway is Asia. There, according to Randhir Singh, currently President of the Association of Asian NOCs, "protective measures" are no longer necessary: ​​neither to protect the integrity of the sport nor to ensure the safety of Russian and Belarusian athletes to guarantee.

They are supposed to start again, admittedly without a flag, colors and anthems, and yet: They represent their countries, are co-opted and also stand up for the aggressor in sporting competitions, are partly financed as sports soldiers from the same budget as the soldiers who served in Cherson or Izyum committed war crimes.

President Thomas Bach, who invited Russia's NOC boss Stanislav Pozdnyakov to the summit, thanked the International Olympic Committee for the "creative initiative" of the OCA, which may free the IOC from the "serious dilemma" in which it finds itself sees himself caught: "The mission to unite the whole world in peaceful competition."

A mission that the Russian war of aggression in Europe is failing, even if the IOC is trying desperately to stick to the mantra of the sport's political neutrality - and at the same time pledges Ukraine's full support so that they can compete at the games in Paris in 2024 and in Milan and in 2026 Cortina can compete with the "strongest team" possible.

An equation that, despite the constant emphasis on sanctions against Russia as a sporting nation, cannot work. The Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, who is responsible for sports, also sees it that way. "All international sports associations remain responsible for taking a clear position. Russia must remain excluded from major international sporting events," said the SPD politician before the FAZ summit.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is "waging his criminal war of aggression against the Ukrainian civilian population with undiminished brutality. Sport should remain consistent in its condemnation of this inhuman war," said Faeser: "The Olympic idea stands for international understanding. Against this background, it is clear to us: It is not the time to invite Putin's Russia to major international sporting events."

The IOC prefers to let others speak, for example French President Emmanuel Macron, who believes that sport is non-political and an opportunity to open channels of conversation when other paths are blocked. Special rapporteurs from the UN, the Hungarian diplomat Csaba Körösi and Indonesia's President Joko Widodo also help the IOC to build its own arguments. German sports officials were not invited to the IOC summit.

This will probably lead to the reintegration of Russian and Belarusian athletes, even if no decision has yet been made on this. Time is running out for the IOC: the Olympic qualifications for Paris 2024 have already begun. But the next dilemma is looming, especially in Germany: the directive of the Federal Ministry of the Interior still applies that travel expenses for competitions with Russians and Belarusians are canceled.

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