22 May 2019
At the European Games, Russian athletes will be able to compete in all sports on the programme, including the team tournament
From 19 to 21 May, the Forum of the National Olympic Committees of Central and South-Eastern Europe was held in Sopot, Poland. Along with the permanent members of the association, which include Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey, the leaders of the NOCs of Russia and Spain took part in the event as observers.
The coordinator of this sports group of European countries is head of the NOC of Poland Andrzej Kraśnicki.
Forum participants exchanged impressions of their work at the 40th EOC seminar in Vienna, where important topics were touched upon such as the European sport model and its importance for civil society, new sports technologies, sports commercialisation, development of mass sports, gender balance, as well as preparation for the 2nd European Games in Minsk and other large multi-sport competitions under the aegis of the EOC and IOC.
A report on the preparations for the 2019 Minsk European Games was made by President of the NOC of Greece, Chairman of the Coordination Commission and EOC Executive Committee member Spyros Capralos.
Delegates also discussed possible adjustments to Rule No.40 of the Olympic Charter, which regulates the marketing activity of athletes and national Olympic committees during and outside the Olympic Games.
WADA Foundation Board member and President of the NOC of Croatia Zlatko Matesa briefly spoke about the outcomes of the 6–7 May meeting of the WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board. Speaking about the progress in data processing and doping samples from the Moscow laboratory, he noted that the work continues and the current results are encouraging.
With regard to possible disciplinary sanctions for violations of anti-doping rules, they will be applied by WADA and/or the relevant international federation on an individual basis in accordance with the results of thorough and comprehensive investigations of specific cases.
ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov discussed separately with his EOC colleagues the status of the Russian track and field athletes who are candidates for participation in the 2nd European Games.
EOC representatives confirmed that European Olympic Committees are guided by the same rules as the IOC at the Olympic Games when it comes to admitting athletes to their tournaments. In other words, all athletes who have been selected according to the sporting principle and who do not have any disqualifications and other restrictions as far as WADA is concerned will be allowed to compete in Minsk under the flag of their country.
Having received confirmation from the EOC regarding the full participation of Russian athletes in the athletics tournament at the 2nd European Games, the ROC immediately brought this information to the attention of the leadership of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).
It should be noted that head coach of the Russian national athletics team Yuriy Borzakovskiy earlier said that 30 track and field athletes were included in the extended national Russian team for participation in the 2nd European Games, however only seven of them had received permission from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) by then. According to the regulations of the 2nd European Games, an athletics team should consist of at least 15 athletes, with a maximum of 21 people.