Russia Won’t Boycott Olympics More than IOC’s Doping Ban, Putin Says
Enlarge this graphic toggle caption Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
Russia hosted the last Winter months Olympics in 2014. But the region is banned from becoming represented at the 2018 Games that start in February, after the International Olympic Committee said it located a widespread traditions of Russian cheating through performance-enhancing drugs.
The ban was imposed on Tuesday; one day later, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wouldn’t stand in virtually any athletes’ way if they choose to compete as neutral Olympians. When it banned Russian officials from the forthcoming games, the IOC likewise said a way remained for some of Russia’s sportsmen to compete in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“Without any doubt, we won’t declare any blockade, we won’t prevent our Olympians from engaging [in the game titles], if one of them wants to take part in an individual capacity,” Putin said in remarks relayed by the Russian Olympic Committee and translated by Google Translate.
“I also experience concerned for the people, many of whom I know personally and consider them to end up being my good friends,” Putin said, in further remarks which were reported by state-work Tass media. “All of them has to decide of some sort now.”
The Olympic ban has sparked anger and a range of other responses in Russia – including demands calm from the Kremlin, where Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said, “The problem is serious, and it requires thorough analysis. One should not be overly enthusiastic by emotions.”
Putin and Peskov spoke after ideas of a boycott – and perhaps the resuscitation of a good release of the Goodwill Video games – circulated in Russia after Tuesday’s news that the IOC had suspended the Russian Olympic Committee more than a good widespread and complex doping software. The IOC is ordering Russia’s athletes to show they are clean of any doping. If indeed they head to PyeongChang, they’ll compete beneath the Olympic flag; if they win medals, their country’s anthem won’t be played.
“I’ve seen all sorts of reaction from sportsmen,” NPR’s Lucian Kim says from Moscow. “Some declare, ‘Yes, we’ve worked well so hard. We should definitely participate, actually under a neutral flag.’ And others declare, ‘Under no conditions- it’s humiliating for our region and we can only compete under a good Russian flag.”
Elite figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva, one of Russia’s most famous athletes and the reigning world champion, vented the frustrations of many would-be Olympians who say they thought these were doing enough when you are “clean.”
“I cannot accept the option that I’d compete in the Olympic Games without the Russian flag as a good neutral athlete,” Medvedeva said in a statement issued by Russia’s Olympic Committee (and translated into English by Google Translate). “I am proud of my country, it is a superb honor for me to stand for it at the game titles. It gives power and inspires me during performances.”
A hard series has been taken by the All-Russia Status Broadcasting Firm, or VGTRK, which said about Tuesday that if Team Russia isn’t competing in South Korea, it will not broadcast the 2018 Winter months Olympics.
At the Kremlin, Peskov said questions continue to be about how precisely the ban will be enacted. It would be premature, he said, to attract conclusions before officials have spoken to the IOC.
Peskov said that while the scenario is serious, “emotions should be kept straight down and the decisions taken by the IOC on our region should be thoroughly analyzed prior to making any accusations on this account.”
His terms didn’t prevent Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova from saying on Wednesday that the punishment of Russia’s Olympic software was an attempt to isolate and weaken Russia, saying its critics had resorted to “program B,” after the region hosted the Sochi Olympics.
“Throughout history, there have been so many things we had to endure from our ‘partners,'” Zakharova said. “But time and again, they didn’t take us down, come to be it in a world battle, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, or sanctions… We survived, again and again.”
After talking about Russia’s “revival as a sporting activities powerhouse,” this lady said, “We constantly listen to that we are carrying out everything wrong, come to be it our life-style, culture, history, and now sports.”
The ministry issued Zakharova’s words along with a slogan that spread on social media Tuesday: “Zero Russia No Games.”