The sports ministers of 33 countries signed a declaration calling for stopping the membership of Russia and Belarus in international sports organizations, banning the presence of people from those countries in high positions, and disavowing the broadcasting of international competitions in these countries.
It was also learned on Friday that 97 international sports organizations have imposed sanctions on Russian sports as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.
According to Victor Blazyev, rector of Moscow State University of Law. Twelve international federations decided to suspend or exclude Russian national federations, and removed 19 Russian federations from their governing bodies.
However, fourteen of those sports federations allow Russian athletes to participate in competitions as neutrals. TASS recalls that among these athletes are chess players, tennis players and judokas.
In Warsaw, Polish Minister of Sports and Tourism Kamil Bortnizok said That the joint declaration against Russian and Belarusian participation was signed by the ministers of 25 of the 27 countries of the European Union – excluding Bulgaria and Hungary – as well as authorities in these areas from Great Britain, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Norway and Canada.
“It is likely that Liechtenstein and Iceland will join in the next few hours. It is interesting that Switzerland has not decided to do so and I think it is worth emphasizing this fact ”- said Bortnizok, noting that many international sports federations have headquarters in this country.
“We recommend the participation – or not – of a particular competitor, examination of their relations with the Russian and Belarusian authorities, with sponsors associated with these countries, or examination of previous statements of athletes about this criminal attack by Russia on Ukraine,” Bortniczuk said.
The minister predicted that Russians and Belarusians will not participate in the European Games, which will be held in Krakow and Maupolska, Poland, in 2023. In the two previous editions of the event, in Baku and Minsk, the Russians dominated the medal table and the Belarusians also occupied avant-garde places.
According to the Polish news agency, the first version of the joint position of ministers from Europe and other parts of the world was drafted in March, shortly after the Russian military action. It entailed, among other things, the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competition at all levels and the abolition of the right to organize events from these countries.
Bortniczuk estimated that “this statement is deepening” today at a time when some federations such as bobsleigh and skeleton appear to be sending signals of the slow opening of the return of representatives from Russia and Belarus.
According to Oleg Matitsyn, Russia’s Minister of Sports, this statement from 33 countries “is discriminatory and violates the principle of non-interference of states in independent sports organizations.”