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IOC to take its time to ponder Russia’s Olympic participation — ROC chief Pozdnyakov

Stanislav Pozdnyakov noted that the current agenda was unacceptable for the global Olympic movement

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. International sports federations are currently in talks with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding conditions that could pave the way for Russian athletes to participate in international tournaments and their formulation will take up to one month, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), said on Tuesday.

"Now the International Federations [IFs] are consulting with the IOC, on the basis of which conditions and approaches will be worked out, which later the IOC will publish," the chief of the Russian Olympic body stated. "The current agenda is unacceptable for the global Olympic movement."

"The IOC is still engaged with International Federations [IFs] in negotiations regarding qualification for the Olympics," Pozdnyakov said. "Every sports competition is unique, so a one-size-fits-all approach is impossible."

"This is why the IOC allocated at least a one-month long period to take care of this work," the ROC chief added.

Pozdnyakov also said that many other national Olympic organizations supported Russia’s participation in the upcoming Olympic Games besides the country’s political allies.

"It is not only about China's NOC supporting athletes from Russia and Belarus, but about the majority of NOC’s voicing their support and this is what I want to accentuate," Pozdnyakov said.

"This number includes the NOCs representing countries unfriendly to Russia based on their political stance," he continued. "But that is the important role of the Olympic movement, to put sports before politics."

"We welcome such an approach on behalf of the majority of NOCs," Pozdnyakov noted.

The head of the Russian Olympic Committee also said that the IOC had never asked athletes representing Russia to condemn their country’s special operation in Ukraine.

"Are they asking Russian athletes to condemn the special military operation? This is a false allegation. It’s not even in the current criteria, which we continue to regard as unacceptable," he said.

"Russians should be allowed to compete under the same conditions as athletes from other countries," Pozdnyakov said. "There should be no direct reference at all stipulating whether to approve or disapprove this special military operation."

On February 28, 2022, 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 Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.

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.

Russia’s special military operation

On February 21, 2022, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, (the DPR and LPR respectively). Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as of the beginning of 2014.

Russian President Putin announced on February 24, 2022, that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance, he had decided to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.