© Copryght – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of ethnic discrimination.

Putin delivered the accusation in a speech at the “Russia is a Sports Power” forum in Perm, Russia on Thursday, which was reported by Russian news agency TASS.

Putin is not too happy about the IOC executive board’s announcement on October 5 to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee until further notice.

Thomas Back (L), Vladimir Putin (R).

IOC President Thomas Bach has steadfastly supported Russia’s participation in the Olympic Games, despite growing dissension around him.

As of now, ROC can no longer operate as an Olympic committee and will receive no funding from the IOC.

The IOC reserved the right to take further action.

The IOC executive board imposed the suspension on the ROC for a breach of the Olympic Charter — a book of rules and principles for international sports bodies — by incorporating sports councils in four regions in eastern Ukraine.

“The Games themselves can be used as a tool of political pressure against people who have nothing to do with politics, as crude and actually racist, ethnic discrimination,” said Putin in a report by TASS.

“Thanks to some leaders of the modern International Olympic Committee, we learned that an invitation to the Games is not an unconditional right of the best athletes, but a kind of ‘privilege’, and it can be earned not by sports results, but by some kind of political gestures that have nothing to do with sports at all has nothing to do with it, and that the Games themselves can be used as a tool of political pressure against people who have nothing to do with politics,” said Putin.

Earlier this year, Putin demanded that Russia host countries from BRIC nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in a new edition of the Goodwill Games.

The Goodwill Games were created by American businessman Ted Turner. Turner launched the Games in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games during the 1980s. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The invasion caused the United States and other Western nations to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. In a retaliatory turn, Russia led an Eastern Bloc boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Games.

The Goodwill Games occurred five times, between 1986 and 2001, while the Winter edition occurred only once, in 2000. They were cancelled by Time Warner. The company bought the games in 1996, but because of low television ratings after the 2001 Games in Brisbane.

Russia’s version with just a handful of countries will suffer the same fate. The Goodwill Games would be a farce. Put on by a dictatorship that has been proven to systematically dope its athletes. No one will watch a second-level event hastily arranged out of anger.