March 27, 2023

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The IOC put Russia on political terms. What will happen now?

What music did Fedor Emelianenko go to fights to: he started with The Prodigy, and now – Cossack and Orthodox songs

What music did Fedor Emelianenko go to fights to: he started with The Prodigy, and now – Cossack and Orthodox songs

The International Olympic Committee seems to have invited Russian (and Belarusian) sports to come out of isolation.

They want to see our people at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris – however, in a neutral status and not in full force.

Participation conditions are varied:

• the already familiar WADA scrutiny and increased oversight;

• Full compliance with the Olympic Charter, and in particular the peacekeeping mission of the IOC. It means thatonly those who did not actively support the fighting can compete; 

• individual checks for all entered athletes with immediate exclusion as soon as the conditions are no longer met.

These ideas are absolutely revolutionary; there has never been anything like it in the entire history of the Olympic movement.Athletes have never been required to publicly withdraw their support for their state’s policies. Even when this policy was unequivocally condemned at the world level (for example, the apartheid regime in South Africa or international sanctions against Yugoslavia in 1991-1995).

What will Russia’s return to the international arena look like now? And will it take place at all – or will the political conditions of the IOC prove unfeasible?

Here are the main questions and answers. Which of them are correct, we will find out soon.

1. Will Russia agree to the terms of the IOC? It seems that Pozdnyakov and Matytsin are against, and Levitin is for

The leaders of our sport met the recommendations of the IOC without enthusiasm. ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov believes that this is “a step forward, two steps back”:

“This statement is an attempt to correct a mistake that has already resulted in groundless restrictions for Russian and Belarusian sports for almost a year and has caused great damage to all international sports. The voice of common sense was heard. However, we still categorically disagree with any restrictions, additional requirements and sanctions that relate to the nationality of our athletes and are again being offered to us as a condition for returning to the international arena.”

And here is the Minister of Sports Oleg Matytsin : “We consider it unacceptable to determine special conditions for participation for athletes that do not comply with the Olympic Charter, the principles of equality and justice. No politics can and should not interfere with sports, there is no place for speculation about SVO.

But important words also appeared from the second person in the ROC and assistant to the President of Russia Igor Levitin.Judging by them, the Russian side is at least ready for negotiations and compromises.

“As soon as the international federations receive recommendations from the IOC, they will inform us and we will start work. But I think it’s a success. The Olympic community understands that the Olympic Games cannot take place without Russia.”

2. What will happen in general? Will the Russians be automatically admitted to all competitions? What about winter people too?

Following the recommendations of the  IOC, each international federation will form its own criteria for the admission of ours. They will definitely be in the spirit of the IOC (that is, anti-doping and policy requirements will remain). But the specifics may differ depending on the type.

In the situation with the exclusion of Russia, the federations worked very quickly: the entire process of creating an iron curtain, from the recommendation of the IOC to a total ban in almost all forms, took several days. Recovery is usually much more difficult.

In theory, ours could even make it to the Biathlon World Championship (starts on February 6) and certainly to the World Ski Championship (starts on February 22). But the recommendations of the IOC are about participation in the Summer Olympic Games in Paris. There, the main qualifying competitions in most sports start only in April or later.

That issummer federations can take their time and calmly discuss the criteria with their Russian counterparts. Question: will the winter roads come up with something urgently to save, for example, the Russian-Norwegian confrontation in skiing?

3. What might political demands look like? Do I need to sign something? And what about military athletes?

The most subtle point in the decision of the IOC. Thomas Bach said back in September that athletes who distanced themselves from the actions of the authorities should be allowed under a neutral flag.