"Given the war": legendary biathlete calls discrimination against Russians' exclusion from sport
The legendary French biathlete Martin Fourcade has spoken out against the suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions. The five-time Olympic champion called the sanctions against athletes from the aggressor country discrimination on a national basis.
Fourcade said this in a survey by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which was presented on the website of the FrancsJeux project. At the same time, the former biathlete expressed support for Ukraine and its people, who continue to resist Russian aggression.
"As a representative of athletes and an athlete, I strongly believe that we should consider allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in sports competitions. While I understand the sensitivity of this issue given the war in Ukraine, I believe that excluding athletes on the basis of their passport or nationality is discriminatory. I know it can be difficult to understand my position. I am aware of this, I am not blind. I know that this does not ease the difficulties of the Ukrainian people. I am 100% with them. The fact that I support the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes does not mean that I support the war. This is not the case and will never be the case," said Fourcade.
Recall that the IOC has recommended that international federations suspend Russian athletes who are affiliated with the Russian army and security forces, as well as team sports. They should also not support the war in Ukraine.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin complained that it was virtually impossible for the aggressor country to challenge the IOC's ban on Russian athletes competing under the national flag.
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