Stanislav Pozdniakov: «The Tokyo Olympics have been rescheduled and this will allow us to adjust the training plans for athletes-candidates to the Russian Olympic team»

The President of the Russian Olympic Committee shared his thoughts on the rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympics announced by the International Olympic Committee today, emphasizing that these changes were necessary, first and foremost, to ensure the health and safety of athletes, as well as not to disrupt the international sports schedule which is undergoing fundamental changes.

Stanislav Pozdniakov:

– It has been announced today that the new dates of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo will be July 23 to August 8, 2021.

The postponement of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games for exactly one year provides certainty that is so important at the current moment for the whole Olympic Family: athletes, coaches, representatives of sports federations and our devoted fans. The postponement was primarily required to ensure health and safety of the athletes as well as to adapt the international sports calendars which, without any exclusions, are undergoing radical changes.

We hope that the Tokyo Olympic Games will become a platform to display the Global unity and the triumph of the Olympic values – friendship, respect, excellence and fair play, while the organizers will succeed in making them the most open, positive and innovative!

There is a lot of work to be done now. As the ROC and the sports federation are now informed about the new dates of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it will help us to adjust the training plans of the Russian national team Olympic hopefuls for the Games. It is important to note that all qualification events results and quota places gained by our athletes are retained.

On the part of the ROC, we will continue to provide all the necessary support to our sports federations and Olympians to secure optimal training conditions in the new environment. It is our priority for the time being, along with ensuring the protection of the rights and interests of the Russian athletes. We will be in a position to adopt and integrally begin the implementation of the action-plans as soon as the coronavirus related restrictions are lifted.

By all means, the COVID-19 pandemic makes its own adjustments to the doping control process around the Globe. Many NADOs have significantly reduced or completely ceased their anti-doping programs due to various legislative and travel restrictions. This represents a major challenge to the entire international anti-doping system, and we hope that the WADA will be able to respond timely and effectively. At the same time, we would like to remind that the Russian athletes are the most tested in the world over the past few years. Our firm position is that any additional requirements relating to anti-doping control as a part of admission criteria for international competitions will have to apply equally to all the athletes, regardless of the nationality.

In the meantime, I urge all athletes, coaches and fans to follow the rules and please stay at home!

I wish you Olympic patience and strong health!