Paris 2024 : la Russie exclut tout boycott des Jeux olympiques par ses athlètes

Le président du Comité olympique russe, Stanislav Pozdniakov, à Moscou le 14 septembre 2023.

“I cannot reword”

Stanislav Pozdniakov highlighted the boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow by Western countries as a protest against the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan in 1979. The athletes were unable to participate in the competitions, and the political boycott resulted in very negative outcomes, with no party emerging as a winner. He emphasized that “sports should distance itself from politics.”

The Russian athletes were banned from competition after the Russian offensive in Ukraine in 2022. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended last March the reinstatement of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions, under a neutral flag and “individually”, for those who did not actively support the offensive in Ukraine.

Peu d’athlètes attendus

According to Mr. Pozdniakov, any Russian athlete will be able to participate in the 2024 Olympics under a neutral flag if they wish to and if they are allowed to do so by the IOC. “We live in a free country. Every athlete is free to make their choice,” whether it is “to show solidarity with their teammates banned from the Olympic Games for invented reasons or to decide to participate under a neutral flag,” Mr. Pozdniakov further stated.

However, he emphasized that the “recommendations of the IOC” were “prohibitive in nature” and would not allow “a large number of Russian athletes to participate in the Olympic Games.” Russian athletes participated in the 2021 Tokyo Games under the banner of their Olympic Committee “ROC” and not their country, as a sanction following the revelation of a state-sponsored doping policy in Russia, particularly during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Le Monde avec AFP