© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is steadfast in allowing Russia and Belarus to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games despite mass criticism.

“We are not kicking the decision down the road,” Bach said.

“We are not waiting.

“We all would like the war to end now and this is what we are calling for, but as you can see from all the reasons we are giving the conditions are not related to the development of the war, they are related to the respect for the Olympic Charter and the Olympic values.”

Wladimir Klitschko

The latest critic is 1996 Athens Olympic gold medallist Wladimir Klitschko.

Klitschko wrote over social media, “The IOC authorizes the Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Olympic Games under “neutral flag.” This decision is a false flag. Thomas Bach serves the colors and interests of Russia. This decision contaminates the Olympic spirit and is like this war: a nonsense.”

Klitschko went on to become the world champion twice. Since the war started, he has stayed in Ukraine and joined the fight against Russia.

His Ukrainian father, Vladimir Rodionovitch Klitchko, was an officer in the Soviet Air Force, stationed successively in various locations around the world. He was a major general.

Russia’s reinstatement

The Russian Athletics Federation will have 35 conditions to follow for a term of three years or may have the ban (for doping) reinstated.

Bach was clear that any athlete who openly shows solidarity toward Russia and its war on Ukraine should not be permitted to compete.

“The IOC Executive Board today issues, to the International Federations and international sports event organisers, the following recommendations: athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport must complete only as individual, neutral athletes,” Bach said. 

“Two – teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport cannot be considered.

“Three – athletes who actively support the war cannot compete.

“Four – support personnel who actively support the war cannot be entered.”

Apparently, there is no timeline for the reinstatement.

Russian athletes competed during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. There was a delegation of nearly 350 who attended the event. However, the Russian flag and national anthem were never seen or heard. Russian athletes won dozens of medals.

Follow on Twitter