Putin accuses IOC of commercializing and politicizing sport

Putin accuses IOC of commercializing and politicizing sport

O International Olympic Committee (IOC) is subverting the ideas of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, by politicizing and commercializing the sport, the President of Russia denounced this Tuesday, Vladimir Putinat the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

“I think that the current leadership of international federations, of the IOC itself, subverts Pierre de Coubertin’s original idea,” he stated, commenting on the bans imposed on Russian athletes due to the war in Ukraine.

According to Putin, “sport must be separated from politics and must not distance people, but unite them.”

Putin also lamented that, in the last decade, “the Olympic movement has fallen into the trap of financial interests.” “There has been an unacceptable commercialization of international sport and the international Olympic movement,” he added.

The Russian leader emphasized that “it’s not just about setting records, but about bringing people together.”

“And the international Olympic movement has lost this function. And this is regrettable for this movement, because one way or another alternative movements will emerge. This is inevitable. It is an objective process”, he stated.

Putin recalled that next year the Friendship Games and the Brics Games will be held, in which “everyone who is not politicized will participate with pleasure.”

The Russian leader also condemned the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating under their flags in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, noting that “for decades they persisted towards their goals, but now they cannot achieve them due to considerations policies.”

Putin has refused to judge Russian athletes who have changed their sporting nationality: 55, according to the Russian Sports Ministry, although experts estimate there could be more than a hundred.

“I’m not criticizing anyone. But when an athlete, especially a high-performance athlete, goes up on the podium and hears his country’s anthem and the flag is raised, that’s important. But, at the end of the day, everyone does their own thing. choice,” he said.

The government official acknowledged, however, that “for some people, sport and international competitions are like a sublimation of war.” “There seems to be some truth to this,” he said.

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