— Published 26 November 2020

The IOC prepares its sanctions

The threat is becoming clearer for Belarus. The IOC said on Wednesday 25 November that it was currently studying the possible sanctions to be applied to Belarusian Olympic leaders because of the numerous reprisals inflicted for almost four months on athletes who chose to join the protest movement against the re-election of the President Alexander Lukashenko. Without directly naming the head of state, who has also been president of the National Olympic Committee for 23 years, the IOC said it was considering “appropriate measures or sanctions” against the country’s sports leaders. Their determination to punish athletes opposed to the regime in place would constitute an obvious violation of the Olympic Charter. According to the IOC, the number of reports of athletes and officials sanctioned in Belarus has been steadily increasing for several weeks. “In view of the growing number of worrying reports concerning athletes, officials and certain sports in Belarus, the Executive Board has decided to initiate formal proceedings to examine possible appropriate measures or sanctions against the NOC of the Republic of Belarus”, explains the IOC in a press release.