– How would you comment on the statement of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee about the possible boycott of the Paris Olympics in case of the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes?
– The ROC in its activities strictly adheres to the Olympic Charter. We are committed to ensuring that the fundamental goals and objectives of the international Olympic Movement are fulfilled, including in the Russian Federation. It is not in our tradition to comment on comments, but today is a special occasion. Our premise is that any attempt to boycott major competitions and the Olympics has never been successful for the country that made it. Therefore, we urge our Ukrainian colleagues to abandon this practice. Even though it is probably not so easy in a situation where the head of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee is also the Minister of Sport, i.e. holds a public office. Nevertheless, we must not forget that the main mission of the international Olympic movement is to make the world a better place through sport. And no boycotts will help!
– How do you assess the likelihood of Russian participation in the Asian Games 2023 in China?
– We welcome the statement of the Olympic Council of Asia offering competitive practice to our and Belarusian athletes, including in the framework of the Asian Games. Not all competitions are Olympic qualifiers, but we need international practice now. I am confident that our athletes will have the opportunity to win the necessary quotas to participate in the 2024 Games.
– What do you think about the fact that the Chinese National Olympic Committee was one of the first to support the IOC’s initiative to bring athletes from Russia and Belarus back to the international stage?
– According to the IOC statement, the vast majority of National Olympic Committees support the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions. I would like to emphasize this for your attention. Moreover, among those who have supported the IOC’s position, there are quite a number of countries that, unlike China, are not friends of Russia in the political sphere. But that is the value of a true Olympic movement, which should protect sport from the influence of politics.