The President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach responded to calls to repeal the 50th paragraph of the rules of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits political demonstrations during the Games. Earlier, the head of World Athletics Sebastian Coe said that the IOC should not punish athletes who show their political views, given the demonstrations of participants in the Black Lives Matter movement. But Bach disagreed with Coe.

“The Olympic Games are primarily about sports. Athletes are a symbol of form, solidarity and peace. They show respect for each other by demonstrating political neutrality.

The power of unity of the Games can only work if everyone respects each other and shows solidarity. Otherwise, the Olympics will turn into a demonstration area. This will not bring the world together, ”Bach wrote in his column for The Guardian.

The IOC will ensure that there is no discrimination against athletes for political views in Belarus

The Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) received an interim report on the situation of athletes in the Republic of Belarus.

By its decision of October 7, the IOC Executive Board initiated an investigation into the compliance of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Republic of Belarus with the Olympic Charter. In response to inquiries from the IOC, detailed information was provided on this matter from both the NOC and the NOC Athletes’ Commission, and assurances were obtained that the NOC would fully comply with the Olympic Charter.

Nevertheless, the IOC, once again expressing serious concern about the general situation of the sports community in Belarus, will continue to monitor the situation of Belarusian athletes in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing and remains open to any additional information regarding political discrimination against athletes who under the jurisdiction of the NOC.

“The IOC is a civic non-governmental organization and its mandate is limited to sports. The IOC has neither the mandate nor the ability to change laws or political systems, including the laws of a sovereign country, and therefore will not comment on political events in any country.

The IOC takes the responsibility of ensuring that the NOCs of all countries adhere to the Olympic Charter very seriously and, as a result, the athletes under their leadership can compete without discrimination. In particular, not to be discriminated against for their political views, ”the IOC press service said.