— Published 18 September 2023

Not a single exchange with Thomas Bach in 2023

Dialogue seems to have broken down between the IOC and Russia. At least at the top of the pyramid. Interviewed by the Russian daily Sport-Express, Stanislav Pozdnyakov (pictured above), President of the National Olympic Committee (ROC), explained that he continues to maintain frequent relations with most of the sporting movement’s bodies. “We meet regularly with the heads of international federations, but the details of these meetings are confidential“, confided the former fencer. On the other hand, communication with the IOC is less easy. Asked about the last time he spoke personally with Thomas Bach, Stanislav Pozdnyakov replied: “It was in December 2022, during the Olympic Summit.” On that occasion, the IOC had expressed for the first time its willingness to consider the conditional reinstatement of Russian athletes in international competitions. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) suggested acting as a pilot by inviting Russian and Belarusian athletes to the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou. Since then, the issue of neutral athletes carrying Russian or Belarusian passports taking part in the Paris 2024 Games has still not been resolved. And the OCA’s invitation to the Asian Games has not materialized, with the IOC deeming it “not feasible” in the end.