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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova referred to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as racist and neo-Nazi.

On Tuesday, the IOC announced that Russian and Belarusian athletes would not be permitted to parade during the opening ceremony on July 26. The Russian and Belarusian athletes were to compete under a neutral flag. Also, no Russian anthem will be played and athletes will wear a neutral uniform.

Meanwhile, Russian rhetoric speaks to the West boycotting the Russian-led Friendship Games, but Russia claims to rise above a Paris boycott. Perhaps Vladimir Putin does not understand that while experiencing a ban, a boycott is a moot point.

Zakharova said, “The IOC’s decisions are illegal, unfair and unacceptable. We are appalled by the unprecedented discriminatory conditions imposed by the IOC on Russian athletes. These statements show how far the IOC has strayed from its stated principles and has turned to racism and neo-Nazism.”

The Russians responded two years ago with the threat of a resurrection of the Friendship Games.

“It’s intimidation of athletes and it completely undermines the authority of the IOC. It is the destruction of the ideal of Olympism,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The press conference happened a day after the IOC toughened its stance against the Russian initiative to host a sporting event, that will be in direct competition with the Olympic Games.

Both parties accuse the other of using the Olympic Games for political purposes, both of which go against the Olympic idealism. But, so does war and so does cheating. The Russians have a history of systematic doping and have had a national ban in place because of this. Although the Olympic ban due to doping was lifted, World Athletics continues with its ban — in the biggest sport at the Summer Games.

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