IOC calls Russia’s Friendship Games ‘a cynical attempt to politicise sport’

By Isaac M March 19, 2024

The International Olympic Committee has urged a boycott of Russia’s planned ‘Friendship Games’, labelling the event a “cynical attempt” by the country to “politicise sport”.

Russia intends to stage the ‘Summer Friendship Games’ in the cities of Moscow and Ekaterinburg in September this year, just a few weeks after the Paris Olympics, and a winter event in Sochi in 2026.

“For this purpose, the Russian government has launched a very intensive diplomatic offensive by having government delegations and ambassadors, as well as ministerial and other governmental authorities, approaching governments around the world,” the IOC said in a statement.

“To make their purely political motivation even more obvious, they are deliberately circumventing the sports organisations in their target countries. This is a blatant violation of the Olympic Charter and an infringement of the various UN resolutions at the same time.

“It is a cynical attempt by the Russian Federation to politicise sport.

“The Olympic movement strongly condemns any initiative to fully politicise sport, in particular the establishment of fully politicised sports events by the Russian government.

“The IOC strongly urges all stakeholders of the Olympic movement and all governments to reject any participation in, and support of, any initiative that intends to fully politicise international sport.”

Since the military invasion of Ukraine two years ago, Russia has been banned from the Olympics, although athletes from the country who have qualified for Paris 2024 can compete in a neutral capacity.


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