‘Russians on IOC board not representatives of their country’

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has claimed that it has not suspended its Russian members and honorary members as they are ‘not representatives of their country’ in their capacities.

Pressure was ramped up on the Lausanne-based organisation after Swiss Sports Minister and Federal Council member Viola Amherd wrote to President Thomas Bach, calling for it to take a ‘further step’ and exclude officials from Russia and Belarus in response to the widely condemned attack on Ukraine.

However, the IOC told insidethegames that it has not taken measures against the officials because they do not represent Russia in their membership roles, although added that they are not playing an active role in meetings.

“According to the Olympic Charter, the IOC members are not representatives of their country within the IOC,” it said.

“They are in the contrary elected as individuals by the IOC and then delegated as ambassadors of the IOC to the sports organisations in their country.

“And in any case, there are no IOC meetings being organised right now that include Russian IOC members.”

The IOC has previously said “the sanctions suggested exclusively address the Russian Government, with the prohibition of any national Russian symbols.”

While its members’ positions have been unaffected by the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the IOC has recommended that International Federations ban athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus from their competitions and urged them to move events from both countries.

It has also withdrawn the Olympic Order from high-ranking Russian Government officials including President Vladimir Putin, who opened the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and was invited to Beijing 2022 by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

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