— Published 1 February 2023

Stanislav Pozdniakov rejects the conditions

Stanislav Pozdniakov insists. The former fencer (photo above), current president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), repeated once again that the return of his country’s athletes in international competitions could not be accompanied by conditions, as announced last week by the IOC. “Russians must participate under exactly the same conditions as all other athletes, he said Tuesday, January 31. All additional conditions and criteria are not welcome, especially those with a political component absolutely unacceptable for the Olympic movement. The Olympic Charter states that all athletes must participate on an equal footing“. The position of Stanislav Pozdniakov is not new, the Russian leader had held identical words last week, after the announcement by the IOC of its willingness to “explore the tracks” for a return of banned athletes. But his authority to refuse a participation under neutral flag and colors presages a very tense arm wrestling between Russia and the IOC. At the end of the day, Tuesday, January 31, the IOC responded to the words of the president of the ROC with a sober statement. “The sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian states and governments are not negotiable, insists the text published by Lausanne. They were unanimously confirmed by the recent meeting of the Olympic Summit on December 9, 2022. They are as follows: no international sports event is organized or supported by an IF or NOC in Russia or Belarus; no flag, anthem, colors or other identifications of any kind of these countries are displayed during a sports event or meeting, the whole site. No Russian or Belarusian government or state representative shall be invited or accredited to any international sporting event or meeting.”