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Olympic Video games ‘can construct bridges’ with Russian athletes in Paris, insists IOC | Worldwide Olympic Committee

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The Worldwide Olympic Committee says the Olympic Video games can “set an instance” to the world on unity and constructing bridges because it defends plans to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to qualify for Paris 2024.

The IOC has confronted heavy criticism in some quarters for analyzing ways in which athletes from Russia and Belarus might take part within the Video games as neutrals amid the continued invasion of Ukraine.

A bunch of greater than 30 nations – together with the UK – issued a collective assertion on Monday calling for the ban on these athletes to proceed.

In an announcement issued to mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion being launched by Russia, the IOC stated it had proven “unwavering solidarity” to the individuals and athletes of Ukraine however insisted its mission was to advertise peace via sport, citing how athletes from warring nations similar to North and South Korea, Israel and Palestine and Armenia and Azerbaijan had competed in the identical Video games prior to now.

“Through the Olympic Video games, athletes from 206 completely different Nationwide Olympic Committees reside collectively in peace within the Olympic Village,” the assertion learn. “Peace-building efforts want dialogue. A contest with athletes who respect the Olympic Constitution can function a catalyst for dialogue, which is all the time a primary step to reaching peace.

“The Olympic Video games can’t stop wars and conflicts. Nor can they handle all of the political and social challenges in our world. That is the realm of politics. However the Olympic Video games can set an instance for a world the place everybody respects the identical guidelines and each other.

“They’ll encourage us to resolve issues by constructing bridges, main to raised understanding amongst individuals. They’ll open the door to dialogue and peace-building in ways in which exclusion and division don’t.”

Authorities representatives from greater than 30 nations, together with the UK, have known as on the IOC to proceed to exclude athletes from Russia and Belarus.

The IOC did difficulty a suggestion to worldwide sports activities federations within the days instantly after the beginning of the invasion that they need to exclude these athletes from their competitions, however the IOC president, Thomas Bach, has since stated that was solely a measure meant to “shield” these athletes. He now argues Russian and Belarusian athletes shouldn’t be discriminated in opposition to due to the passports they maintain.

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The group of greater than 30 like-minded nations had issued an earlier assertion final July saying, based mostly on the non-discrimination precept, it supported these athletes competing as neutrals. Nonetheless, their assertion on Monday identified: “In Russia and Belarus, sport and politics are carefully intertwined. We’ve robust considerations on how possible it’s for Russian and Belarusian Olympic athletes to compete as ‘neutrals’ – beneath the IOC’s situations of no identification with their nation – when they’re straight funded and supported by their states [unlike, say, professional tennis players].

“The robust hyperlinks and affiliations between Russian athletes and the Russian navy are additionally of clear concern. Our collective strategy all through has due to this fact by no means been one among discrimination merely on the premise of nationality, however these robust considerations must be handled by the IOC.”

The UK’s tradition secretary, Lucy Frazer, stated the nations agreed that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, “can’t use sport to legitimise his actions on the world stage”.

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