Olympic legend calls for a hard line on the IOC – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

President Thomas Bach trumps charter with Russian flag restrictions, hockey player Vyacheslav Fetisov has charged

Legendary Russian hockey player Vyacheslav Fetisov has lambasted International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach over the organization’s treatment of Russian and Belarusian athletes. Fetisov believes they should be allowed to compete under their national flags.

“Since the Cold War, there have been no such decisions on the part of the IOC”, Fetisov spoke about the latest recommendation to international federations on how to deal with Russian and Belarusian athletes. “There were boycotts, there were protests, but I don’t remember anything like that.”

He described the current situation as “without law and without precedent” and said nothing good would come of it.

“How will decisions be made in the next conflict? he wondered in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, an extract from which was published on Monday. “Thomas Bach is no longer an IOC President in my eyes. If you can’t follow the Olympic rules, resign.

At the end of March, the IOC published its recommendation to international federations on how to allow Russian and Belarusian passport holders to compete. He advised to only let them do so as individual athletes – excluding team sports – and only if they do not support Russia in the Ukraine conflict. The committee also called for mandatory doping tests, as opposed to random checks.

The new rules are less restrictive than the previous blanket ban on Russians and Belarusians, which the body responded to when the operation in Ukraine began in late February 2022. In its new recommendations, the IOC explained that a ban total was discriminatory in nature.

Fetisov, one of the most prominent ice hockey players of the Soviet era, won two gold medals and a silver medal at the Olympics. He is one of a number of Russian public figures to strongly criticize the IOC’s latest decision. The champion partially blamed Russia for the situation, saying that Moscow “constantly reconsidered our position”, and stressed the need to send a clear and uncompromising message to the committee.

“We will only come back if our flag and our anthem are back. Otherwise, modify the Olympic Charter to legalize your decisions. Or kiss us goodbye, “ he insisted, describing the proposed ultimatum. Adopting such a position would prevent “horse game” surrounding admission to the games, Fetisov said.

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