As our Association informed earlier, the Declaration of the 11th Olympic Summit was adopted on 9 December 2022 and Statement on solidarity with Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and Belarus, and the status of athletes from these countries was adopted on 25 January, 2023.
Statement pointed that with regard to the sanctions, no international sports events being organised or supported by an International Federation or National Olympic Committee in Russia or Belarus, no flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications whatsoever of these countries being displayed at any sports event or meeting, including the entire venue, no Russian and Belarusian Government or State official should be invited to or accredited for any international sports event or meeting.
Those IOC and whole Olympic Movement steps are well-grounded and are connected with international legal consequenses of Russia’s aggression. But Statement also stressed that allegedly “no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport” that a “pathway for athletes’ participation in competition under strict conditions should therefore be further explored”.
Statement also stressed that athletes would allegedly participate in competitions as “neutral athletes” and in no way represent their state or any other organization in their country, as is already happening in professional leagues, particularly in Europe, the United States and Canada, and in some individual professional sports.
Statement also stressed that only athletes who fully respect the Olympic Charter would participate and this means in particular: first, only those who have not acted against the peace mission of the IOC by actively supporting the war in Ukraine could compete and that there must be individual checks carried out for all entered athletes.
As we informed our readers earlier, ARC addressed submission to IOC on 31 January, 2023 № 101/2023, where our Association asked to pay special attention to IOC and other Olympic Movement participants that such conditions caused strong social discussion in Ukraine and other states, including all arguments, pointed in the Statement and Declaration.
Regarding non-discrimination issue and letter of Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance we paid IOC attention that those UN HRC representatives published our Association’s reports regarding racial discrimination and other human rigths’ violations on Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine.
And, alas, as we pointed in our submission to IOC those UN representatives evidently did not mention those issues in own letter to IOC. More, as we directly stressed to IOC, the citizenship issue is not the possible groung of discrimination persons, regarding internatonal legal standards, including p. 2 of article 1 of International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1965 and others.
Also, as we stressed in submission № 101/2023 to IOC, after Statement and Declaration were adopted the above-pointed ECtHR decision was published on 25th of January regarding Russian occupation of districts of Eastern Ukraine since 2014 in pending case №№ 8019/16, 43804/14 and 28525/20, but the Statement and Declaration did not tale into account this decision that establish the Russia-supported terrorist and aggressive activities as in the Crimea so in the East of Ukraine since 2014.
And anyway, as the above-pointed international act stresses, Russian aggression in Ukraine started from the illegal occupation and attempted annexation of the Crimea in 2014. As the Statement stressed – only athletes who fully respect the Olympic Charter would participate, in particular: first, only those who have not acted against the peace mission of the IOC by actively supporting the war in Ukraine.
Our Association pointed to IOC in submission № 101/2023 that all athletes, who visited illegally Russia-occupied Crimea and others Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine from 2014, as in personal purposes, so for any sportive or so called “social” or “politic” activities acted strongly against the Olympic Charter
So, as ARC pointed in that submission, if the IOC would not change its position regarding participation the “neutral athletes” in Olympic Movement, the issue of their possible illegal visits to the Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine must be checked in any certain case; also the issue of the assessment by such athletes the illegality of Russian occupation and attempted annexation of Ukrainian territories, including the Crimea, must be checked.
ARC stressed in submission № 101/2023 that the special informing from the IOC on these issues will serve the ideals of global peace, prevention aggressive wars, non-discrimination and realization the human rights to sport and sustainable development.
Alas after the Statement on solidarity with Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and Belarus, and the status of athletes from these countries, 25 January, 2023 was proclaimed a lot of manipulations were done, including some Crimea-related, that “neutral athletes” or “Russian athletes” allegedly can’t be discriminated on grounds of their citisenship and that allegeldy participation of “Russian athletes” as “neutral” ones is in compliance with Olympic Principles.
On March 22 IOC President Thomas Bach declared that allegedly “it would be discriminatory to exclude Russians and Belarusians based on citizenship alone” and argued that allegedly “the Olympics can help promote dialogue”
IOC Executive Board meeting, that will be held 28 to 30 March 2023 will discuss the conclusions and review the feedback from a series of consultation calls held with IOC Members, National Olympic Committees, International Federations and athletes’ representatives on the topic of solidarity with Ukraine, the sanctions against Russia and Belarus, and the status of athletes from these countries.
So our Association sent new submission № 229/2023, prepared by ARC’s expert, professor Borys Babin, to IOC bodies, members of IOC Executive Board where ARC stressed again that Olympic Principles must be realized and executed in this point.
ARC pointed that the Olympic Charter, that also serves as statutes for the IOC in article 1.2 of Rule 1 point that the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.
But the Russian aggression, attempted genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine is the strongest challenge for development not only Ukraine, but all human kind, that make impossible the sustainable development and violate the freedom from fear is listed as a fundamental human right according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
ARC stressed that human dignity is impossible to secure until the freedom from fear is violated and till Russian aggression will not stop on Ukraine, any Russian citizen, who does not stress personally the anti-aggressive position violate the article 1.2 of Olympic Charter.
The Olympic Charter, in article 1.6 point that the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
But the issue of citizenship is not mentioned in article 1.6 of Rule 1 and the “national origin” is not a citizenship but, regarding the positions of UN Committee of Human Rights and UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the issue of ethnic ground. It is clear that national origin is different from citizenship, for example athlete with Greek citizenship can’t be a member of Italian Olympic team, but athlete with Greek origin and Italian citizenship may be such member of Italian Olympic team.
Ban for Russian and Belorussian athletes is not ban for athletes of Russian or Belorussian ethnic origin but a ban for athletes of Russian or Belorussian citizenship.
The Olympic Charter, in article 2.4 of Rule 2 point that the IOC’s role is to cooperate with the competent public or private organizations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace.
But as it was pointed in modern UN, OSCE and Council of Europe, ECtHR and ICC documents, Russian aggression makes promotion peace impossible and IOC and its bodies must take into consideration the UN GA resolutions and ECtHR and ICC judicial acts regarding Russian aggression and Russian crimes against peace and humanity. ARC pointed attention in submission on issues of ICC Order issued on 17 March on arrest Russia’s president and on ECtHR decisions regarding Russia-occupied Crimea and East of Ukraine.
ARC stressed that the Olympic Charter, in articles 2.5 and 2.11 of Rule 2 point that the IOC’s role is to action to strengthen the unity of the Olympic Movement, to protect its independence, to maintain and promote its political neutrality and to preserve the autonomy of sport to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes.
But, as Russian propaganda confirms, any participation of Russian athletes in Olympic games will make the politic abuse of vide circle of persons, including athletes and more, Russia will definitely try to include in own team, even under umbrella of “neutral athletes” persons from Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine with clear criminal politic purpose.
So our Association called in submission № 229/2023 IOC Executive Board, as body that assumes the general overall responsibility for the administration of the IOC and the management of its affairs, regarding demands of articles 19.3.1, 19.3.2, 19.3.10, 19.3.13 of Rule 19, to monitor the observance of the Olympic Charter, to approve internal governance regulations, to make decision, necessary to ensure the proper implementation of the Olympic Charter and the organization of the Olympic Games regarding ban of participation of athletes of Russian or Belorussian citizenship in any Olympic activities till end of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Also ARC’s submission № 229/2023 stressed that IOC Executive Board, regarding demands of articles 19.3.1, 19.3.2, 19.3.10, 19.3.13 of Rule 19 of the Olympic Charter, must make decision on mechanism of control that Olympic Games will not become a tool of illegal politic actions, including Russia’s fake “justifying” of attempted annexation the six regions of Ukraine, including the AR Crimea and city of Sevastopol. Such mechanism must include monitoring of possible participation o any athlete in illegal activities on Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine.
Association informed in submission № 229/2023 all current International Federations and more that hundred of National Olympic Committees that they must take all possible measures to help IOC in realization of relevant Executive Board’s decisions. ARC will monitor the further development of such situation.