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IOC chief says it’s too early to talk about sanctions for taking part in Friendship Games

Thomas Bach said that the Friendship Games in Russia are still just an idea

UNITED NATIONS, November 21. /TASS/. The Friendship Games in Russia are still just an idea, so it’s too early to discuss whether international athletes will face any consequences for taking part in the competition that could happen in 2024, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told reporters.

"We are not there yet. We heard about the plans for organizing these Friendship Games by the president of the Russian Federation and by the Russian government. And the IOC, as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency made their position very clear. Our sports events have to be organized by sports organizations and they have to respect the rules of sports organizations. And this is the contribution we are making right now in the discussion about such potential games, but again, we are not there yet. Therefore, it would be premature to discuss any consequences. So, there are all the options," he said, when asked by TASS about what consequences foreign athletes would face if they participated in the Friendship Games.

Earlier, the IOC sent a letter to national Olympic committees recommending them to refuse to participate in the Friendship Games. Later, WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said that the organization was concerned about the Friendship Games in Russia. He noted that Russia has no right to hold such events as the Russian Anti-Doping Agency doesn’t comply with the WADA code.

The Friendship Games are set to be held in Moscow and Yekaterinburg from September 15 to 29, 2024.