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Moscow slams updated Olympic recommendations on Russian, Belarusian athletes

Russia on Wednesday slammed updated Olympic recommendations on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, head of the Russian Olympic Committee, called the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to allow athletes to take part in competitions only in individual neutral status a “violation of human rights.”

“The voiced parameters are absolutely unacceptable. Neutral status is a violation of human rights, which was pointed out by a specialist from the UN. We consider the proposed conditions unreasonable, legally untenable and excessive. We categorically disagree with the conduct of additional anti-doping procedures against Russian athletes,” Pozdnyakov said in a statement.

The IOC recommended that international sports federations prohibit Russian and Belarusian athletes from taking take part in team competitions or using national flags, anthems, or any other symbols.

The IOC recommended the barring of Russian and Belarusian athletes who support the war in Ukraine or contracted as personnel of military or national security agencies.

Pozdnyakov said Russia demands equal conditions for all countries.

The IOC recommendations expressed solidarity with Ukraine, and to Kyiv’s demands to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes it said it had considered the 70 other ongoing armed conflicts and wars around the world, including the situations in the Middle East, Horn of Africa, and southern Caucasus.

The IOC said countries involved in other military conflicts do not request the exclusion of athletes from the other party in the armed conflict or war, but all compete in international sporting competitions without restrictions.​​​​​​​

The final decision on the participation of the Russian and Belarusian athletes will be made by the international federations of various kinds of sports.

Belarus, which neighbors Russian to the east and Ukraine to the south, has supported Moscow’s war on Ukraine.

Since the start of the war, Russian and Belarussian athletes have been banned or restricted from various competitions worldwide.

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