Tuesday 26th of September 2023

afraid of the competition…...

The sports sanctions imposed on Russian athletes have threatened the basic principles of the Olympic movement but the West will eventually realize the “injustice” of the situation, according to Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

Pozdnyakov met with fellow officials and Russian athletes in Moscow on Thursday, at an event which welcomed counterparts from Belarus – a nation which has also faced bans from international competitions as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

Pozdnyakov took aim at the punishments levied on Russia and Belarus which have largely been imposed as a result of a recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and which have already led to suggestions that athletes from the two countries could be forced to miss the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“Our main task is to clearly look at this situation from the point of view of our past, present and future, we need to get together and realize our aims at the Olympics in Paris 2024,” said Pozdnyakov, according to TASS.

“Together we are aiming for a dialogue with international sports organizations, it is happening and will continue to happen.

“I am sure that the realization of the dead end of this [current] path will happen, it is already happening before our eyes, any injustice will dissolve sooner or later,” added the ROC chief.

Pozdnyakov noted that IOC president Thomas Bach should be well aware of the debilitating impact of sporting sanctions, having felt them personally as an athlete when West Germany boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

In his role as IOC chief, Bach has claimed that the current bans on Russian and Belarusian athletes partly “protect” them from supposed hostility they would face outside their respective countries, refusing to describe the measures as “sanctions.”

Russian Olympic official Pozdnyakov – who is a four-time Olympic champion fencer – took issue with that stance.

“Although some foreign colleagues are trying to present this situation as a defense of the Olympic movement, we do not agree with such an assessment,” said the ROC official.

“These really are sanctions. Any restrictions, any violation of freedom and the opportunity to compete in a fair fight are clearly sanctions…

“Now we see that the whole world is undergoing changes, including the Olympic movement. The IOC did not pass this test, the intervention of political forces, the collective West, made a similar split in the Olympic movement.

“The Olympic movement is very heterogeneous, but most of the National Olympic Committees, oddly enough, adhere to the principle of maintaining distance from political influences.

“Another thing is that most of the political elite is occupied by representatives of the countries that impose sanctions against Russia at the state level. And this has spread to our athletes,” added Pozdnyakov.







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ukraine cheats but….

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has said previous “non-conformities” concerning the Ukrainian anti-doping system would be “provisionally excused” because of the circumstances of the conflict with Russia.

WADA announced in October of last year that an extensive investigation into operations at the National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine (NADC) had found irregularities concerning testing.

As part of the case, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) initiated a procedure against the NADC in an effort to bring standards into line.

On Friday, WADA issued an update on the situation after a meeting of its Executive Committee (ExCo) in Sydney, suggesting that the conflict with Russia meant that any progress was in a state of limbo.

“The ExCo decided to provisionally excuse the previously communicated non-conformities of the National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine (NADC) for reasons of force majeure,” read a statement.

The message added that the hostilities with Russia “continue to prevent NADC’s timely correction of its non-conformities.”

“WADA will continue to monitor the situation and the CRC will reassess the case once force majeure no longer applies,” it added.

“The ExCo was informed also that the individuals identified in WADA’s report outlining the non-conformities in Ukraine are no longer involved in the NADC.”

WADA’s CRC first suspended its recommendation of non-compliance for Ukraine following the onset of Moscow’s military campaign back in February, again describing the step as necessary due to “force majeure.”

Issues surrounding Ukrainian anti-doping procedures were highlighted in October 2021, when WADA’s independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department published its report into allegations of malpractice.

Known as ‘Operation Hercules’, a lengthy investigation uncovered evidence suggesting that Ukrainian anti-doping officials had contravened WADA standards by providing advance notice to athletes of testing – removing a fundamental element of an effective system.

It added that there was “compelling” evidence that in 2021 the NADC “knowingly reported at least six in-competition samples as out-of-competition samples, in contravention of various articles of the World Anti-Doping Code and the ISTI (International Standard for Testing and Investigations).”

“Operation Hercules has raised serious questions about the integrity of NADC’s testing practices and the competence of some staff,” said WADA I&I director Gunter Younger at the time.

“Moreover, the apparent longevity and brazenness of these practices suggests significant organizational failings within NADC,” he added.








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