21st May 2022
Thomas Bach has described Russia’s action as ‘devastating’ and a breach of the Olympic Truce. He made his remarks on the final day of the 139th IOC Session in Switzerland. NEW
Russia has been shunned by much of the international sporting world following its war against Ukraine.
It came between the staging of the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Games on February 24th.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attended the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, having been invited by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
“The devastating actions of the Russian government during its invasion of Ukraine, which constituted a breach of the Olympic Truce, truly shocked us all,” said President Bach.
“The IOC has been deeply concerned about the safety of the Olympic community in Ukraine, and immediately established a task force to closely monitor the situation and to coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic community inUkraine where possible.
“To see the conflict unfold just days after athletes from all over the world had come together in peace during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 was truly heart-breaking.
“We know that sport alone cannot create peace. We cannot take decisions on war and peace – this is the exclusive remit of politics.
“But when it comes to peace, words and symbols are also important, because these symbols show us how the world can look if we all respect the same rules and each other.
“The Olympic Games are this symbol of peace and unity, showing us the way to a better and more peaceful future.”
Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and it was Thomas Bach’s first Olympics as President of the International Olympic Committee.
President Thomas Bach has admitted the organisation’s relationship with the Russian Government has “dramatically deteriorated over the past years”, claiming the country is responsible for “personal threats to individuals”.
“It deteriorated following the doping scandal, cyber attacks and even personal threats to individuals from the IOC and Olympic Movement.”
See more on Inside the Games.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the IOC recommending that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus be banned from international competitions, a call heeded by the majority of International Federations.
The IOC Annual Report 2021 is accessible online at: IOC-Annual-Report-2021.pdf