IOC suspends Russian Olympic Committee activities

October 13,2023 933
IOC suspends Russian Olympic Committee activities

The International Olympic Committee has suspended the activities of the Russian Olympic Committee. This happened after the Russian Olympic Committee included committees from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine under its membership on October 5.

The so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as the illegally occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, were “included” in the Russian Olympic Committee. This contradicts the Olympic Charter, as it violates the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, the IOC said.

The IOC conducted an internal investigation and decided to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee. The Russian Olympic Committee no longer has the right to operate as a national Olympic committee and cannot receive funding from the Olympic program.

“This means that the International Olympic Committee will not fund them, and they will not participate in any meetings, assemblies, or issues where they can raise a word and say something. They will not send letters, and the International Olympic Committee will not consider their letters. That is, they do not exist,” explained Vadym Gutzeit, Minister of Sports of Ukraine.

The International Olympic Committee reserves the right to make a decision on the participation of individual neutral athletes with Russian passports at the appropriate time—the upcoming events at stake are the Summer Olympic Games in Paris 2024 and the Winter Olympic Games in Milan 2026.

“The IOC Executive Committee also reserves the right to take any further decisions or measures depending on the development of this situation,” the IOC said.

Ukraine will continue to work and promote the issue of banning even neutral athletes from Russia. “The struggle continues to ensure that they are not present in the international arena at all,” the Minister emphasized. 

The Ukrainian World Congress is also conducting an international advocacy campaign to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, even under a neutral flag.

“We are confident that the Olympic Games should not be used for whitewashing Russia’s genocidal war in Ukraine, for concealing its crimes against humanity, or for promoting the tolerance of war and destruction,” reads a letter signed by UWC First Vice President Stefan Romaniw and Chair of the UWC World Sport Committee Renata Roman to the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach.

Cover: Eurosport