Russians allowed to compete in Olympics reveals an IOC burying its head in the sand

Source: IOC
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

It is hard not to describe the decisions taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as anything other than a cop-out. Under the chairmanship of Putin’s friend, Thomas Bach, the Olympics’ ruling body has simply transferred responsibility for the decision to the individual international sports federations. They will now decide if they will allow Russians to qualify for and then attend the games. They will also be free to decide on the criteria for making such a decision.

Two federations in which Russia holds the trump card, fencing and boxing, have already green-lighted the Russians to compete. 

According to the IOC, denying the Russians the right to have their national anthem played and flags displayed is sufficient. However, that has already been done over the doping scandals last time, and it seems the waging of war has not worsened Russia’s situation at all with the IOC. 

Ukraine and the Central European states oppose this IOC position, as does Western Europe and North America, but Asian, African, and South American countries do not support the exclusion, arguing that sports should be kept separate from politics. They forget that the Putin regime has always done the opposite of that and has used sports as a weapon in politics. 

This places the democratic world in a quandary. What should be done if Ukraine boycotts the games?

The time to pressure the IOC is running out, as the qualifiers for the Olympics are already taking place. Excluding Russians and Belarusians from competing in these games is the only solution that will save the Olympics’ prestige and decency. 

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