February 9, 2023

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The hypothesis that the Russians would boycott the Olympics if they participated

. Although the IOC has not taken a clear position on Russian participation in future Olympic Games, some Ukrainian allies are considering an Olympic boycott if the Russians are allowed to participate. reports Inside the games.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Russian athletes have been banned from global competition in most sports. Russia is considering a move to Asian sports organizations in the hope of finding friendly pastures.

But many of Ukraine’s allies in the West, including several members of the NATO alliance, where Ukraine is a candidate country, “They are known to be considering boycotting Paris 2024 rather than compete against a foreign government”he said David Miller In his statement.

Concerns of the Allies

Norway’s Herhard Heiberg, who directed the Lillehammer Winter Games in 1994, said:

“The plan to create acceptable conditions for the inclusion of Russian athletes is close. Ukraine’s allies, indeed across Europe, have every reason to worry.

Heiberg spelled out key words that directly link sports success to governance Vladimir Putin.

“Putin is obsessed with sporting success.

Russia’s withdrawal from Paris could force its hand.

The rhetoric begins to grow, as it did in 1979. Some countries, including the United States and Canada, boycotted the Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

However, there are significant differences.

The Olympic Games will be held in friendly competition”Western countries“, France, and not on the national territory of the Russians.

Tempism

The Olympics are 18 months away and we are all hoping for a quick resolution to the conflict.

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However, Olympic qualifications have already started in many sports. Although pool swimming does not require international competition for Olympic qualification, many other sports (such as diving, water polo and artistic swimming) do.

This increases the pressure.

The Russian President has said that we can start one her A version of the Olympics, he believes, will be a better event than the Games.

But this is plain nonsense. Even its allies have a lot to gain from the global exposure of the Olympic Games.

For example, China and India do not need a sporting event to spread their influence in Russia. Those countries need that exposure to spread their influence across Africa, Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

Even if the fighting in Ukraine ends, the horror and fallout of a time-spent war attacking non-military targets will be an international political arena that could take years to resolve.

Boycott or inclusion of Russia?

A lingering memory of 1980, most countries will pause before considering a boycott in 2024.

A simple solution would be to block Russia’s participation altogether.

The Olympics without Russia would still be the Olympics; An Olympics without NATO would be a disaster.

Negotiations

How can one get out of this? Dead end?

One can choose economic sanctions for Tokyo 2020. Ban the presence of Russian political figures and the absence of the Russian flag and anthem at the event.

This type of negotiation is complex. Olympic organizations do not have to provide the geopolitical environment for countries participating in the Games. The Olympics celebrate sports, nationhood, and unity.

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Prevent resistance

What could convince countries considering boycott to share space with Russia?

What happens if the first Ukrainian athlete has to compete against a Russian athlete and refuses?

What will be the IOC’s response when the inevitable outcry occurs?

These are all important questions for the IOC.

Given 18 months, these questions will be easier to answer when the various political scenarios begin to unfold.

I think most countries, in their private minds, prefer Russia’s negotiated participation.

Pressure to decide

With the pressure to qualify, the IOC must decide how to get time to make decisions.

How to handle qualifying events will be decided soon.

For this reason, affiliation with Asian sports confederations is becoming more and more a real possibility.

We recall that sanctions by organizations such as FINA have never expressly extended to national or continental competitions.

The IOC’s counterpart to the deal was to shift some qualifying positions to Asia, taking into account the impact of the Russian decision.

Recall that under the neutral flag, Russia was fifth in the Tokyo medal table with 20 gold and 71 podiums.