Question: Could you comment on criticism against the International Olympic Committee’s “leniency” towards Russian athletes despite the notorious “ban”?
Permanent Representative of Russia to the EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov:
In my view, it would be more appropriate to speak not about leniency, but rather something totally different.
Dealing with Russian athletes the International Olympic Committee openly pursues a biased approach and exercises double standards that run against principles laid down by Pierre de Coubertin, the founding father of modern Olympic movement.
The mere practice that athletes have to get a permission to participate in the Olympics is outrageous. Organisers of the first Olympic games in Ancient Greece would have been left astonished at such a procedure. Moreover, such modus operandi did not exist even at the Olympics in 1936 in Berlin, then capital of the Third Reich.
And the developments around the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling are just unexplainable. CAS confirmed there was insufficient evidence to prove that a whole group of Russian athletes had committed an anti-doping rule violation and lifted all the bans on their participation in international sports competitions. Still, they are prevented from competing at the Games that open today.
And now the IOC considers a CAS reform as the latter has not followed the Western policy of Russia-bashing. Therefore, a logical question arises: is it not high time for the IOC itself to be reformed?