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Russian Olympic chief says suspension of athletes may cause rift in Olympic movement

"Boycotts and suspensions will lead nowhere," says the Russian Olympic Committee head

ST. PETERSBURG, June 1. /TASS/. The suspension of athletes may trigger a rift in the international Olympic movement, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov said at a panel session dubbed Sports A Space of Confidence at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

"It is a very dangerous thing which may cause a new rift in the Olympic movement," said Zhukov, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). "Boycotts and suspensions will lead nowhere as far as sports is concerned. So I am glad that the IOC has been preventing such attempts," he added.

"Olympic Games are going to be held in (South) Korea. If we assume that Team Russia does not participate, then the world will neither witness an intense hockey tournament nor see our gorgeous figure skater (Evgenia) Medvedeva and many others. In this case, the Games will lack the entertainment value," Zhukov said. "As members of various organizations, we have been striving to ensure the unity of the Olympic movement and its values for we believe it is a crime to try to turn sports into political weapons," the ROC president added.