The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is under increasing pressure to drop Russian and Belarusian athletes.
There are concerns that nations will boycott the IOC unless it blocks the countries’ athletes from entering any competition.
This happened for the last time back in 1980 and the Moscow Games where the international community jointly withdrew from the games post factum the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Despite that, however, the IOC has now stated that it is ready to defend its stance that politics shouldn’t interfere when it comes to the Games and that all athletes should maintain their integrity and rights to participate despite their governments’ actions.
The only compromise that the Olympic sports body is ready to make with the US, Britain, France, Ukraine and its Eastern European and Baltic allies that are calling for the ban is to strip Russian and Belarusian athletes of their national identity by removing any country-related flags and uniforms.
IOC President Thomas Bach has been called out by Ukrainian athletes for ‘choosing the wrong side in history’, to which Bach responded:
“We have to accomplish our peace mission and that is a unifying mission of bringing people together.”