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Russia regrets attempts to use sport as pressure lever — Russian Foreign Ministry

November 18, 2017, 19:26 UTC+3

The Foreign Ministry reminded that the autonomy of sport is enshrined in the Olympic Charter

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Russian Foreign Ministry building

Russian Foreign Ministry building

© Mikhail Dzhaparidze/TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Russia regrets attempts to use international sporting events as a pressure lever and insists sport be out of politics, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

"We point out with regret that more frequent attempts have been made recently to use major international sporting events and a theme of sport in general as a pressure lever and a means to serve momentary interests," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We are convinced that sport is an autonomous aspect of human life which should be guarded from the political agenda," the ministry said. "It should serve goals of unity, of respect for traditions and cultures of the world’s states, but not break off ties with countries and nations."

The Foreign Ministry reminded that the autonomy of sport is enshrined in the Olympic Charter.

"Listing fundamental principles of the Olympic movement, the document says ‘The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’," the ministry said.

Besides, the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that the Olympic Charter entrusted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with a mission "to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes" and that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in favor of the independence and autonomy of sport.


Looking forward to Olympics

Last year, the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chaired by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren released a report on the outcome of a probe into alleged doping schemes at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The report was based on testimony given by former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory chief Rodchenkov, who accused Russia of allegedly conducting a state sponsored doping scheme.

Following the report’s release the International Olympic Committee (IOC) set up two separate commissions to probe doping abuse allegations in Russian sports as well as alleged involvement of state officials in manipulations with performance enhancing drugs, particularly at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.

The first of the two commissions is an Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid. The commission is looking into accusations set out in the McLaren report that alleges the existence of a supposed institutional conspiracy in Russia’s summer and winter sports, in which the country’s state officials were allegedly engaged in.

The second investigative body at the issue is a Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald. This commission is tasked to address alleged doping uses and manipulation of samples concerning the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

The next Olympics, which are XXIII Winter Olympic Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018 and Russia’s participation in the event is still under a question.

On Friday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko met with Samuel Schmid. According to Mutko, the talks were held in a positive manner.

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