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Russian Olympic champions set to appeal to IOC President over ban – Sporting Life

Former Russian Sports Minister Viacheslav Fetisov said they want to know which “documents such a decision was made since it is not provided for in the Olympic Charter” ©Getty Images

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Russia’s Olympic champions are poised to appeal to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in a bid to justify the decision to ban them from global sporting competitions.

Double Olympic ice hockey gold medallist and former Russian Sports Minister Viacheslav Fetisov told Russia’s official state news agency TASS that they want Bach to tell them which “documents such a decision was made since it is not provided for in the Olympic Charter.”

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Russian and Belarusian athletes have been cast into the sporting wilderness after a swathe of organisations imposed sanctions in response to the war in Ukraine.

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The IOC has recommended athletes from Russia and Belarus are banned from international sport – a call heeded by most International Federations.

But Fetisov, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports, has questioned the reasoning behind the IOC’s ban.

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Fetisov, who claimed ice hockey gold at the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics, said he would join other Olympic champions in appealing to Bach.

“We are looking for a format for an appeal to the IOC President so that he can explain to us, the Olympic champions, on the basis of which documents such a decision was made, since it is not provided for in the Olympic Charter,” said Fetisov.

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“Otherwise, it is necessary to demand from the changes in the Charter and documents of the federations, which in this case, they will cease to be sports, since sport at any time is designed to unite people, create an atmosp. of unity.”

Fetisov was speaking to TASS at the Eastern Economic Forum attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok.

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The Russian Olympic Committee has previously claimed the IOC’s recommendations “grossly violate” the principles of the Olympic Movement and did not provide any legal basis.

Bach and several international sports bodies increasingly sought to frame the recommendations on the non-participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes as a “protective measure.”

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Speaking in March, Bach insisted that the Olympic Movement would “not fall into the trap of the cheap argument that this would be a politicisation of sport, going against the Olympic Charter which requires political neutrality.”

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