Russian Olympic Committee threatens to boycott qualifiers after some prime athletes barred from competing

  • High Russian athletes who’ve publicly backed the warfare or are employed by the navy or safety forces are nonetheless barred from competing within the Olympics. 
  • The Worldwide Olympic Committee suggest letting Russian and Belarusian athletes compete as impartial athletes with out nationwide symbols.
  • Russia’s Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, whose daughter has been barred from competing, claims the nation might boycott qualifiers because of some prime athletes from the nation being excluded.

The president of the Russian Olympic Committee indicated Thursday that the nation might boycott qualifying competitions in fencing for subsequent 12 months’s Paris Video games after some athletes, together with his personal daughter, have been barred from competing.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee recommends letting opponents from Russia and Belarus compete as impartial athletes with out nationwide symbols after the invasion of Ukraine, however nonetheless excluding these employed by the navy or safety companies, or those that have publicly backed the warfare.

Two-time gold medalist Yana Egorian and all three of the gold medalists in girls’s crew saber from the Tokyo Olympics — Sofya Velikaya, Olga Nikitina and Sofia Pozdniakova — have been refused after vetting from the Worldwide Fencing Federation, Russian Fencing Federation president Ilgar Mamedov informed state news companies.

Pozdniakova is the daughter of Russian Olympic Committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov.


Some lesser-known fencers have been authorised to compete, Mamedov mentioned. However he did not say why the opposite fencers have been refused and there was no instant affirmation from the Worldwide Fencing Federation, often known as the FIE.

All three of the ladies’s crew saber gold medalists have been recognized as being affiliated with the Central Sports activities Membership of the Military, often known as CSKA, in a 2021 assertion on the Russian Protection Ministry web site following the Tokyo Olympics. It listed Velikaya with the rank of captain and Nikitina as a sergeant. They and Egorian are all listed in profiles on the FIE web site with the time period “armed forces athlete.”

The FIE choices confirmed IOC standards for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to be a “farce” and a “thinly veiled suspension” which amounted to discrimination, Pozdnyakov wrote in posts on the Telegram app.

Russian Olympic Committee president

President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov attends a news convention in Moscow, Russia, on March 25, 2021. Pozdnyakov indicated on Might 11, 2023, that the nation might boycott qualifying competitions for the Olympics as among the prime Russian athletes are nonetheless banned. (Alokito Mymensingh 24 Picture/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

“The Worldwide Olympic Committee is imposing such standards that the participation of the overwhelming majority of our athletes and virtually the entire leaders of the nationwide groups in Olympic qualifying and different competitions is in follow unrealistic,” he added.


Pozdnyakov mentioned he had spoken with the Russian fencing crew and indicated that they supported boycotting competitions underneath the present situations.

“The place is unanimous, our fencers will participate provided that there are equal rights with athletes of different nations, with out contrived or wrongful parameters and different synthetic impediment programs,” Pozdnyakov mentioned.

There was additionally criticism from the Kremlin. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, mentioned Russia opposes restrictions on its athletes.

“We think about it completely fallacious to attempt to apply situations of some political necessities to athletes and their participation in worldwide competitions,” Peskov mentioned. “We don’t agree with such suggestions.”

Fencing has a central place in Olympic politics as a result of it’s the sport of IOC president Thomas Bach, who was a gold medalist on the 1976 Montreal Video games. Pozdnyakov himself gained 4 Olympic gold medals in fencing, and his daughter gained each the person and crew saber gold medals in Tokyo.

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A Russian boycott might clean the way in which for Ukraine’s fencers to maintain competing. The Ukrainian authorities and fencing crew have a coverage of not coming into any occasions the place Russian or Belarusian opponents are allowed.

The FIE’s earlier strikes towards readmitting Russians and Belarusians led to a protest petition from prime fencers from across the world in opposition to the plan. Not less than 4 competitions on the FIE’s World Cup circuit have additionally been referred to as off by organizers unwilling to host Russian and Belarusian opponents.

Peter Johnson