— Published 20 April 2023

Boycott or sanction

It is done. The Ukrainian government officially adopted a resolution this week to sanction national sports federations whose athletes participate in international competitions involving Russian and/or Belarusian athletes. The threat was made earlier this month by the Ministry of Sport after the IOC Executive Board recommended to the international federations that they open the door to athletes from both countries, subject to conditions and on an individual basis. The resolution was adopted by the ministries’ cabinet. It therefore becomes binding. This is not surprising. But by threatening sanctions against national federations whose athletes participate in competitions with Russians and Belarusians, as is already the case in tennis, Ukraine is deviating from the Olympic rules, which state that political power must not interfere in the decisions of the sports movement.