Australia joins international opposition to attempt to allow Russian athletes to compete

The IOC has argued that banning Russians and Belarusians could violate the Olympic Charter, and the inclusion of all athletes was based on a United Nations resolution against discrimination at the Olympics.

But the 30 nations allied with Ukraine said: “Through its decisions, actions and continued invasion, Russia has broken the Olympic truce, which has been consistently endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly since 1993.”


“In our joint statement of July 4, 2022, we recognized, with regard to the non-discrimination principle, that Russian and Belarusian nationals may compete as ‘neutral’ individuals, under conditions that ensure that they clearly do not represent their states. ”

“But in Russia and Belarus, sport and politics are closely intertwined. We have major concerns about how feasible it is for Russian and Belarusian Olympians to compete as “neutrals” – under the IOC’s conditions of not identifying with their country – when they are directly funded and supported by their states (unlike, for example, professional athletes ). tennis player).”

The statement also expressed concern about “strong connections and affiliations” between Russian athletes and the military.

“Until these fundamental issues and the significant lack of clarity and concrete details about a workable ‘neutrality’ model are addressed, we do not agree that Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete again,” it said.

A final decision by the IOC has not yet been made. The joint statement represents an attempt to ensure the organizing committee does not achieve a result that could be used as a propaganda tool by Putin, who is continuing to escalate the war in Ukraine.

Break through the noise of federal politics with news, perspective and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up for our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here. Australia joins international opposition to attempt to allow Russian athletes to compete

Callan Tansill

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