— Published 27 April 2023

Pozdnyakov and Chernyshenko attack the IOC

The arm wrestling continues between the IOC and Russia. Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), has publicly asked the Olympic body to be firmer in the face of repeated requests from Western governments to maintain the suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes. “We consider it a flagrant violation of the Olympic Charter and we demand that the IOC react quickly to statements such as those made by some Western governments, said the former fencer to national media. We are facing a blatant interference of politics in the sport movement. The autonomy of sport must be ensured and safeguarded by the IOC. We hope to hear the strongest possible reaction from the IOC on this issue.” The same tone of voice was heard at the highest level of the Russian state, where Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko (pictured above) – former president of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games Organizing Committee – also attacked the IOC, but this time over the eligibility criteria set by its Executive Board for the return of Russian athletes. “Unfortunately, international sports organizations no longer adhere to the fundamental principles of sport, which is to stay out of politics and provide athletes with a level playing field to give their best, he suggested, quoted by TASS agency. What do we see today? The IOC has issued a humiliating ultimatum to our athletes, as well as to the Belarusian Olympic team, stating that to participate in the Games, we must betray our own homeland, condemn and reject it, and only then we would be allowed to participate, but only under a neutral flag and without national anthems. We do not want this type of Olympic Games.