— Published 25 October 2023

Thomas Bach blasts the politicization of sport

No respite for Thomas Bach. Returning from Mumbai after an IOC session at which he was asked by several members, mainly African, to extend his 12-year term of office to 2025, the German leader made the journey to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. The occasion: the 100th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee. In front of the media, Thomas Bach talked politics. “We are convinced that the world will realize that politicizing sport would be very harmful for society,” he insisted, suggesting that the “mission of sport remained to organize competitions between nations that, at a certain point, are politically friendly.” The German leader also assured that he currently enjoys “great support from the international community regarding the unifying power of sport.” A support which, in his opinion, should be further strengthened in the coming weeks. “I hope that the forthcoming debate on the Olympic Truce resolution, which will take place at the United Nations in November, will give us a further boost of support,” he added. The IOC President also took aim at Russia, but without naming it, and its desire to create its own sporting events, including the BRICS Games in June 2024 in Kazan. He explained that the IOC was closely monitoring attempts by certain countries to “politicize sport and replace sporting competitions like the Olympic Games, which are politically neutral games organized by civil society, with government-organized events.”