back to top

    Polish government criticizes IOC President’s comments

    The Polish government spokesman has strongly denounced the remarks of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, who criticized European countries that have opposed the IOC’s intention of reinstating Russian and Belarusian athletes in international sport. The spokesman stated that the remarks were “unacceptable and inappropriate” and that the Polish government will not accept such rhetoric.

    Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, held a press conference in Lausanne on Thursday to address the criticism from certain European governments regarding the decision to allow the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competition. Mr Bach firmly maintained that such criticism violates “the autonomy of sport.”

    “It is deplorable to see that some governments do not want to respect the majority within the Olympic movement and all stakeholders, nor the autonomy of sport,”

    he said.

    “It is deplorable that these governments do not address the question of double standards. We have not seen a single comment on their attitude on the participation of athletes from countries of the other 70 wars and armed conflicts around the world,”

    Bach added.

    On Thursday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller spoke to the Polish Press Agency (PAP) and described remarks made by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach as “outrageous”.

    “Sport also stands for great values. Russian barbarism is a contradiction of fundamental values and international law,”

    he said.

    According to Mueller, Russian propaganda will quickly use the IOC decisions to legitimise its activities.

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday released guidelines for international sports federations on the readmission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions as “neutral” competitors. The IOC has imposed a number of conditions to be met by these athletes, including a commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards of fair play.

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has laid out recommendations for individual events that only apply to athletes who have not taken part in the war in Ukraine and have no military affiliation. Moreover, they do not concern about next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

    More in section