International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said Thursday in his New Year's message that he is seeing encouraging signs regarding the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions as more world leaders begin to speak out in favor of the Olympic unity
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th December, 2022) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said Thursday in his New Year's message that he is seeing encouraging signs regarding the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions as more world leaders begin to speak out in favor of the Olympic unity.
"In addition to the sanctions, we had to take protective measures to ensure the integrity of international sport competitions. This led the IOC to act against our own mission, our mission to unify the entire world in peaceful competition, since we had to prohibit athletes from participation because of their passport alone. Thankfully, there have been in the meantime many encouraging statements and declarations from a number of individual world leaders supporting our unifying Olympic mission," Bach said in his address.
The adoption of the resolution "Sport as an enabler of sustainable development" by the UN General Assembly, which includes Russia and Ukraine, stands out in this regard, the IOC president noted.
"Such encouraging signs of support give us all the more reason to promote our unifying mission with our full determination, and it gives us hope that it will bring us closer to being able to once again fully live up to the mission of sport to unite the entire world in peaceful competition," Bach added.
Earlier in December, the Olympic Summit agreed that the IOC should consider an initiative by the Olympic Council of Asia to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes who respect the Olympic Charter and sanctions to compete in Asian tournaments.
On February 28, the IOC issued a recommendation to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from international competitions or only allow them to compete in neutral status in response to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.