— Published 30 March 2023

Swiss Olympic opposed to the return of Russian athletes

Unlike some European governments, the national Olympic committees remained very quiet after the IOC announced on Tuesday, March 28, its recommendation for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions. But the Swiss NOC has broken the silence. In a statement issued on Wednesday, March 29, Swiss Olympic announced that it “maintains its position that Russian and Belarusian athletes should continue to be excluded from participation in international competitions.” The national body explains that “the situation has not changed from the spring of 2022. By attacking Ukraine, the Russian government is opposing the values of the Olympic Movement, which is committed to peace, understanding and solidarity between countries and peoples.” It specifies that its athletes’ commission supports this position. Swiss Olympic recommends that Swiss sports federations allow their athletes to take part in international competitions even if Russian and/or Belarusian athletes participate, so as not to jeopardize their chances of qualifying for major events, including the Paris 2024 Games. But the Swiss Olympic committee says: “If athletes do not wish to participate in international competitions under these conditions, federations must accept this and, as appropriate, take it into account in the evaluation of performance development in the medium term.”