The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is well aware that competitions are greatly reduced without Russian athletes, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko. He claimed the IOC is under pressure from outside forces to act against Russia, including the US government.
“Unfortunately, the CIO is not an independent organization. As we can see, they are subject to direct influence from the side of the US State Department and act absolutely on their orders,” Chernyshenko during an appearance on Russian television on Wednesday, as quoted by TASS.
Chernyshenko pointed to a statement at an IOC summit earlier in December, when the organization said it would explore a path back to competition for Russian and Belarusian athletes, but under a strictly neutral status.
“[The IOC] adopted a resolution that the necessary measures should be taken for the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes, but without a flag or anthem,” says Chernychenko.
“They understand that their product is very degraded without our participation.”
The IOC originally recommended on February 28 that sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes as much as possible because of the conflict in Ukraine.
The decision has led sportsmen and women in both countries to miss dozens of major events, including the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.
“It is clear that they robbed each other because no international competition can be considered complete without the participation of Russia,” says Chernychenko.
“Any world or Olympic champion, if he received an award in the absence of our athletes, understands that he is inferior.”
Chernyshenko is a prominent figure in Russian sport and headed the local organizing committee for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
As part of the IOC sanctions against Russia issued in February, he and President Vladimir Putin were both stripped of the Olympic orders that had been awarded to them.
Chernyshenko said that despite the barriers imposed on Russian athletes at the international level, the country has organized a large number of national alternatives for its athletes in 2022.
In addition, Russia is working to develop sports ties with BRICS countries, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) groups of nations, the Deputy Prime Minister said. minister.
Chernyshenko added that he hoped Russian athletes would be allowed to compete in qualifying competitions ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.