— Published 23 October 2023

The IOC strikes back at Vladimir Putin

The verbal battle continues between the IOC and Russia. Unsurprisingly, the Olympic body did not remain without a response after Vladimir Putin’s recent remarks accusing it of “ethnic discrimination” against Russian athletes. “We firmly reject the accusations that these measures (the exclusion of Russian athletes) constitute ‘ethnic discrimination’, said the IOC in a statement. The strict conditions that the IOC has laid down in its recommendations to the international federations for the participation under a neutral banner of athletes holding a Russian or Belarusian passport in international competitions are in line with the Olympic Charter.” The Olympic body also hit back at the Russian president, who suggested in his speech on sport delivered on Thursday October 19 in Perm, in the Urals, that invitations to the Olympic Games were not automatically extended to the best athletes. Citing article 44 of the Olympic Charter, Lausanne explained that “no one has the right to participate in the Olympic Games as of right. All entries are subject to acceptance by the IOC, which may at its discretion, at any time, refuse an entry, without giving any reason.