The Russian president commented as athletes continue to be suspended
© Kay Nietfeld / picture alliance via Getty Images
Vladimir Putin says sporting principles have been cast aside in the stampede to hit Russian and Belarusian athletes with widespread bans.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended last month that Russian and Belarusian athletes not be invited to international competitions wherever possible, also urging the two countries to be stripped of any significant sporting showpieces in the wake of the military operation in Ukraine.
Federations across a range of sports – including the likes of football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA – have since heeded the IOC’s advice, while even Paralympic athletes were not immune after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) banned Russian and Belarusian competitors from the 2022 Beijing Winter Games just one day before they were due to begin.
Reversing an earlier decision to allow the athletes to appear under neutral status, the IPC cited the threat of boycotts from other nations and the “influence of governments” behind the scenes when it took the step.