IOC recommendation a “slap in the face”

The federal government has sharply condemned the IOC recommendation for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to world sport.

“The IOC’s decision is a slap in the face to Ukrainian athletes. They deserve the solidarity of international sport. The least that Ukraine can expect is a clear stance,” said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) in a statement on Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously opened the door to the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes, despite heavy criticism. The IOC executive decided to allow the world federations the participation of previously banned athletes under certain conditions.

A decision regarding participation in the 2024 Olympic Games and the Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo 2026 in Paris will be made “in due course”, said IOC President Thomas Bach in Lausanne.

“Harms the Olympic idea of ​​peace and international understanding”

“International sport must condemn Russia’s brutal war of aggression in all clarity. That is only possible with a complete exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes,” explained Faeser, adding: “Anyone who lets the warmonger Russia use international competitions for its propaganda is doing harm Olympic idea of ​​peace and international understanding.”

IOC requirements include strict neutrality, compliance with the anti-doping code and proof of not actively supporting the war. Athletes from Russia and Belarus who belong to the military are excluded, as are teams from the two nations.

13 months ago, immediately after the start of the war of aggression against Ukraine, most professional associations followed an IOC recommendation to exclude the athletes.