© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has lost his moral compass.

Bach penned a letter to Ukrainian National Olympic Committee (NOCU) President President Vadym Guttsait, warning him that threatening to boycott Paris 2024 is against the Olympic Charter.

The NOCU oposses the potential approval of Russian athletes into the 2024 Games.

Currently, Russia is banned due to systematic doping. Additionally, Russia is not invited to global championships due to the illegal war in Ukraine. However, the IOC wants to continue to allow select Russian athletes to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Earlier this week six Russian athletes were approved by the IOC for inclusion into the Paris Games. During the Tokyo Olympic Games, Russia, while banned, had a delegation of 335 in attendance aross 30 sports. Athletes won a total of 71 medals including 20 gold, 28 silver and 23 bronze. Although they did not specifically represent Russia, the athletes were known to compete for the “Russian Olympic Committee.” At the end of the day, the ban was not a ban.

A link to the letter is inserted in Canadian athlete Charles Philibert-Thiboutot‘s Tweet to an Adobe PDF image of the letter. The Tweet indicates a protestation from the organisation Global Athlete in the form of their own letter.

While Bach warns Ukraine not to Boycott the 2024 Games, he writes to Guttsait that no other country is threatending to boycott. What Bach fails to come to terms with is that no other country is being attacked by Russia.

Bach continues by explaning that the Russian athletes will not be representing Russia, the flag will not be flown and the national anthem will not be played should an athlete win a gold medal. However, as mentioned above, in Tokyo, the Russian athletes who were permitted to compete did in fact compete under the banner Russian Olympic Committee or ROC for short. They were clearly Russian athletes.

Bach writes, “It’s the responsibility of every NOC to uphold the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter and the autonomy of the Olympic Movement.

“A boycott is a violation of the Olympic Charter, which obliges all NOCs to participate in the Games of the Olympiad by sending athletes.”

“The letter states that “Ukrainian athletes can continue to count on the full solidarity from the entire Olympic Movement.”

“What solidarity?

“Solidarity is unity with a common interest — there is no interest among Ukrainians to see war criminals attend the Games under the mask of a neutral flag.

“We cannot accept the IOC’s ‘raison d’être’ – ‘to unite the entire world in peaceful competition’ – as sound reasoning for allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes back into the Olympic Movement. 

“Uniting the world through peaceful competition is a utopian view that denies the role of sport in geopolitics and disregards the way sport is routinely used as a tool of authoritarian states.”

At the end of the day, for some unknown reason, Bach is afraid of Russia or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to the United Nations, Russia has killed between 14,200 to 14,400 Ukrainians.

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry stated that the numbers recorded by the National Museum of Military History were the official but incomplete, at 4,647 deaths (4,509 identified and 138 unidentified).

According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 1,175 of the Ukrainian servicemen died due to non-combat causes by March 5, 2021. The war has continued and escalated since.

Apparently Mr. Thomas Bach is perfectly at ease with this, but not okay with Ukraine sitting this one out. Bach needs to step down from his position as president of the IOC and allow a sober and or moral second thought to take place.