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IOC president says Olympics, its ruling body can’t be ‘referees of political disputes’
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, defended the IOC’s plan to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Olympics under a neutral flag.
“We must be politically neutral but not apolitical. We know well that politics rules the world. We know well that our decisions have political implications and we have to include that in our thinking,” Back said at a political forum, as quoted by Reuters.
“But we should not make the mistake to raise ourselves to referees of political disputes because we will be crushed by these political powers.”
The International Olympic Committee reported on Jan. 25 it plans to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Olympics under a neutral flag, despite President Volodymyr Zelensky’s plea to exclude them entirely.
Thirty-four countries called on the IOC on Feb. 20 to continue its ban on Russia and Belarus competing in international sporting events, including the 2024 Olympic Games, in the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine and numerous doping scandals.