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Moscow’s Olympic chief vows retaliatory steps against ‘anti-Russian hysteria’ in sports

"We are not responding to provocations, but we are certainly standing solid against the exploitation of our silence with the aim of counter-productive aims," Stanislav Pozdnyakov said

MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) will respond in a friendly and respectful manner to the escalation of anti-Russian hysteria, ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said on Thursday.

"We are faced with obvious speculations and attempts to escalate anti-Russian hysteria," Pozdnyakov said, addressing the ROC Executive Committee’s meeting in Moscow on June 9. "We are not responding to provocations, but we are certainly categorically against anyone exploiting our silence for counterproductive purposes."

"We will certainly respond. But we will respond in a combined manner of friendship and respect," he continued.

Pozdnyakov noted that under current conditions it is not easy for Russia "to consolidate efforts, to promote and defend a fair stance on protecting the legal rights and interests of Russian athletes against the obviously hostile and irrational environment."

"We have a multitude of examples to provide. The global sports society resorts to hysterical decisions and I won’t call it anything else in this regard. Among the recent ones are blatant attempts by the European National Olympic Committees [NOCs] to bar us from the General Assembly of the organization. We will discuss this situation today and make relevant decisions," the ROC chief promised.

Pozdnyakov said that the Russian Olympic Committee has ample tools of constructive interaction within its reach. In particular, he said, a special role had been devoted to the ROC Athletes Commission and its representatives, who "continuously deliver messages stating its clear-cut stance to the IOC [the International Olympic Committee] Athletes’ Commission and colleagues from abroad."

"We should stress that by regularly contacting our foreign partners on relevant issues, many of them tend to alter their internal positions," the ROC chief said. "There is an understanding that sooner or later they need to find a way out of the situation, which they ended up in due to unprecedented outside pressure and a frenzy of Russophobia."

"Considering the degree of consolidation of the Russian and rational part of the foreign community in the current conditions, it can be said that the safety margin is sufficient for us work out our own internal development agenda and not to panic and fuss around waiting while our counterparts ‘mature.’ For our part, we need to be completely ready," Pozdnyakov added.

On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments citing the special military operation in Ukraine.

Following the IOC’s recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.