The game is not for all: how the IOC has avoided conflict with Russia before the Olympics


One abstention

The Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee on Sunday decided not to disqualify the entire team from participation in the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. Decision on the participation of Russian athletes will take the international Federation for Olympic sports on the basis of the criteria of the IOC, said after video conference in Lausanne, IOC President Thomas Bach.

The decision on the admission of Russia to the Games was accepted unanimously with one abstention, said Bach. All the teleconference was attended by 15 people.

Do not agree with the decision of the IOC and Russian politicians, former head of the world anti-doping Agency dick pound: “the IOC made a mistake today, not removing the entire Russian team from the Olympics in Rio. The state is involved in the use by athletes of doping” (quoted by “R-Sport”).

In its decision, the IOC is guided by a fundamental rule of the Olympic Charter “to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport,” reads the final document.

This position was defended by the Russian leadership. “Clean” athletes who have never doped, do not have to suffer due to the fact that someone was caught using illegal drugs. Of course, this position will be to settle on different levels”, — said earlier the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov (quoted by “Soviet sport”).

“Absolutely sports solution”

The Russian sports officials, politicians, and athletes have called the decision an optimal and non-political. “Today, the IOC has shown objectivity, seriousness and prudence in these decisions,” said Minister of sport Vitaly Mutko.

“This is absolutely a sports decision. Seeing as how it’s served, given initial data IOC relied on the report of WADA), of course, this is a fair solution,” — said the Olympic champion, member of the Duma Committee on international Affairs of the “United Russia” Alexander Karelin.

The important thing is that athletes will be able to compete under our flag, in solidarity, the former President of the Russian athletics Federation Valentin Balakhnichev.

President Vladimir Putin and his press-Secretary Peskov, the decision of the IOC on Sunday did not comment. Throughout the entire scandal involving Russian athletes, Russian politicians urged not to punish clean athletes. In June the Investigative Committee of Russia began an investigation into the use of doping by athletes. July 18, Putin urged WADA to give Russia the evidence of guilt of the officials and removed from the work of people identified in the report.

You will not be going

Russian athletes, the statement said the IOC should accept some collective responsibility, the presumption of innocence is not one of them can be applied. On the other hand, the rule of law should apply to them, it means that each athlete should be given the opportunity to give your answer.

The Chairman of the Duma Committee on sport Dmitry Svishchev said that one of the negative consequences of the decision the IOC will be an additional psychological pressure on the athletes as from the press and from the fans.

To determine whether athletes participate in the games, will have the Federation summer Olympic sports (28), decided the IOC Executive Board. The international Federation, analyzing the doping history of each athlete should consider only reliable competent doping tests made in the laboratories of the world. Federation should verify the information in the report WADA and excluded from number of participants of the Olympic games everyone who was mentioned in the report as involved in a doping scandal.

The Olympics will not be admitted to Russian athletes who earlier been caught for doping, has decided the Executive Committee of the IOC, even if the athlete has already served a sentence. Previously from participation in the Olympics has already been dismissed the national team in athletics. No athletes in the Russian application for participation was 319 people.

Will not give accreditation to the Olympics and all the officials of the Ministry of sport is the IOC confirmed to the Sunday decision.

The restrictions can reduce the Russian team, warns Balakhnichev. The ban on the participation of the athletes previously convicted of doping, but served a sentence, he calls unfair, since the teams of other countries, such people will compete. He also drew attention to the fact that after the dissolution of the Russian doping lab, all tests were delivered by the Russians at the British lab, but managed to pass tests, not all.

However, the President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov at the conference of the IOC on Sunday said that all the athletes selected to participate in the Olympics, passed the tests in the last six months of foreign doping agencies. Russian athletes participating in international competitions, has already handed over 3 thousand samples. Most were negative, quoted Zhukov, IOC.

“Political mixing”

In anticipation of the decision of the IOC after the publication of the report of WADA Putin urged not to politicize sport and not return to the practice of boycotts used in the past.

The collective responsibility of the athletes would be monstrously unfair to Russia, as would discrimination on ethnic grounds, said the Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on social policy Valery Ryazan, which also oversees sports and the Olympics. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, a number of politicians from the United States and Europe have made statements, “which alarmed its inadequacy”, he says. “Already then felt the political batch”, — said the Ryazan.

The current decision of the IOC knocks all political trump card from the hands of the Russian authorities, who accused the West of anti-Russian campaign, and temporarily stops the beginning of a new anti-Western wave, indicates the head of the program of the Moscow Carnegie center Andrei Kolesnikov. However, such sentiments may appear again if the international Federation will not allow Russian athletes.

If the IOC decided to remove Russia from the Olympics, it would provoke a new escalation, because the history of doping among Russian athletes power is perceived as a “Western conspiracy”, the political scientist Alexei Makarkin.

The IOC could not take another decision, as the removal of the entire national team would be “too geeky”, and the West, by contrast, was convinced that any “political concessions” the Russian side will not go, says the Deputy Chairman of the international Committee of the state Duma Leonid Kalashnikov.

“Sports and politics are inextricably linked, but to try somehow to make it worse, politicizing decisions, it is meaningless. In spite of the waves in the propaganda environment, the reaction in Russia at the highest state level was adequate, and it was decided to settle the issue in the existing framework,” — said the chief editor of the magazine “Russia in global politics” Fyodor Lukyanov.

Image loss

For this scandal, Russia is already paying a catastrophic fall of the country’s image and position in the world — this is the main political retribution, said the Chairman of the political Committee of “Yabloko” Grigory Yavlinsky.

The Russian leadership has a desire to improve the country’s image in the international arena in the field of sports, but the President’s proposals to create an independent Commission on doping to the world anti-doping structures to be clearly insufficient, suggests Makarkin. “I think they [the international anti-doping structure] will insist on the broad participation of foreign experts. I do not think that they strongly inspire that there will not be Mutko, Vitaly Smirnov,” — he said.

Doping scandal seriously weakened the position of the Minister of sports, Makarkin adds. The Russian President has the principle not to dismiss anyone under pressure, so the instant resignation should not wait, but when the scandal will settle down a bit, Mutko may go, he said.