— Published 20 October 2023

Putin accuses the IOC of ethnic discrimination

Tensions between the IOC and Russia have risen yet another notch. With less than 300 days to go until the Paris 2024 Games, where the question of whether Russian athletes will be able to take part is still unresolved, Vladimir Putin has reignited the offensive by accusing Lausanne of “ethnic discrimination“. The Russian president took advantage of a speech on sport on Thursday 19 October in Perm, in the Urals, to declare: “Thanks to certain leaders of the current International Olympic Committee, we have learned that the Games themselves can be used as an instrument of political pressure against people who have nothing to do with politics and, de facto, as a crude instrument of racist and ethnic discrimination.” Vladimir Putin continued: “For the IOC, an invitation to the Games is not an unconditional right for the best athletes, but a kind of privilege.”