Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to bar Russian athletes from competing in the Olympics, calling it “ethnic discrimination. “Speaking at the “Russia-Sporting Power” athletic forum in Perm, Russia, on Sept. 19 (local time), Putin called on the IOC to “stop ethnic discrimination. “Russia has learned that an invitation to the Olympic Games is not an unconditional right of the best athletes, but a kind of privilege, and that this privilege can be earned not by sports results, but by political actions that have nothing to do with sports,” he said. “The Olympics can become a vehicle for political pressure on athletes who have nothing to do with politics,” he said sarcastically. Most Russian athletes have been banned from international competition for more than a year in the aftermath of the crisis in Ukraine, which erupted in February last year as a result of Russia’s “special military operation” in the country. Some athletes have joined other countries’ national teams and are preparing to compete at the Olympics.
In March, the IOC cleared the way for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in next year’s Paris Games as individuals on neutral teams instead of under their national flags .However, the IOC is reserving a final decision due to opposition that says “Russian and Belarusian athletes should be banned from competing in the Olympics, even in neutral organizations. “President Putin strongly criticized the IOC for taking away athletes’ right to decide whether to participate in the Olympics. “One of the irrevocable values of sport is its unifying power, but the true principles of sport – cohesion and loyalty – are being tested,” he said. “The athletes are going through a difficult time with their exclusion from the Olympics and need each other’s support. “The IOC also suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) as a National Olympic Committee (NOC) on March 13.The IOC found the ROC to be in violation of the Olympic Charter for incorporating into its organization the Olympic committees of four former Ukrainian regions that Russia claims to have newly annexed – Donetsk, Luhansk, 카지노사이트 Kherson, and Zaporizhia.