Russian Olympic vice-champion outraged by IOC's conditions to condemn war in Ukraine, demands "freedom of personality and speech"
Olympic silver medallist Ilia Averbukh is outraged by the conditions for Russian athletes to participate in international competitions. The former figure skater, who won a medal in Salt Lake City, called the requirement for Russian athletes to condemn the war in Ukraine unacceptable.
Averbukh said this in an interview with Gazeta.ru. He expressed confidence that the athletes would not go to the lengths of "putting some kind of watershed between themselves and their country". The former figure skater, who comes from a country where Vladimir Putin's dictatorial regime is passing more and more repressive laws, suddenly spoke about freedom of personality and speech.
"I believe that the conditions are somewhat veiled, and we cannot get the original source. It is said that everyone must declare their attitude to the special operation (as Russia cowardly calls the war in Ukraine - ed.) and must put some kind of watershed between themselves and their country - this is unacceptable, it contradicts all the principles of freedom of speech, freedom of the individual and the fact that sport has always been outside politics. I think it's unacceptable, and we have no right to speak to such a direct question. It shouldn't be like this," Averbukh said.
Recall that the International Olympic Committee (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. The day before, IOC President Thomas Bach once again called for the return of athletes from the aggressor country to world sport.
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. And well-known Russian commentator Dmitry Guberniev expressed confidence that Russia would not be allowed to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games.
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