After a few days of uproar in Norwegian sports, the International Olympic Committee continues its work to determine whether Russian athletes will be allowed to compete. But Christine Kloster-Assen, a member of the IOC board of directors, acknowledges that there is a significant challenge.
– It is an absolute prerequisite that they do not in any way represent a country or an organization through IOC sanctions. We are distancing ourselves from the Russian authorities, Kloster Assen tells VG.
On Friday, the Norwegian Sports Federation announced that it did not want Russia and Belarus to participate in international sports. The IOC continues its work to see if there is a global basis for opening up to Russian athletes.
– How do you explain the mood in Norway regarding the participation of Russia and Belarus in international competitions now?
– I don’t have an opinion on that. The basis I am giving is a consultation on whether there are conditions for those holding Russian and Belarusian passports to participate as neutrals, not representing the country from which they come. Kloster Assen answers this responsibility as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
On Thursday, NRK wrote that Jacobsen, as chairman of the athletes’ committee at the Norwegian Sports Confederation, advocated Russia’s return to international sport. Jacobsen, for her part, claims to have only initiated a discussion on the subject. There were strong reactions.
Sorry Saturday Performance Committee For its members to address the issue of banning Russian and Belarusian athletes. They also wrote that Jacobsen did nothing wrong. Sunday It became known what Jacobsen said At the meeting initiated by the IOC.
The next Olympic Games will be held in Paris next summer. Christine Kloster-Assen says the IOC has not set a date for the result on Russia and Belarus.
Putin is known for grooming athletes who receive medals at receptions and gifts. Two months after conquering Ukraine last year, he’s roasting the Olympic athletes who were his guests in Moscow.
– Everyone knows who comes from Russia, is it possible for the Russians to be neutral in the competition?
– I can’t comment on that, but protecting neutrality is a prerequisite in subsequent investigations, Kloster Assen replies.
– If Russians and Belarusians are allowed to participate in competitions. Do you think they are referred to as Russians and Belarusians in their countries of origin, even though they have no flag and no national anthems are played?
– I don’t know. I can not give an analysis of it. But it becomes very important for neutrality to become credible, if reasons are found to allow participation, answers Kloster Assen, who He was awarded prestigious status in the International Olympic Committee in 2019.
– If a Russian wins a competition, do you think the player will be portrayed as a Russian or a neutral athlete in Russia?
– I can’t answer that. They definitely continue to communicate as they normally would. Anyway, I can’t at the moment decide what weight to give in the process of moving forward, replies Kloster Assen.
In an interview with VG, he paints Ukrainian skeletal athlete Vladislav Herasevich (24) Photo of how he sees Russian participation in international competitions.
– Theoretically, Russian athletes can kill Ukrainians on the battlefield, and then compete with us two weeks later at the sports stadium. It’s not about the passport people have, it’s about the connection between the athletes and the military. Allowing Russians to enter international sports now is a very bad idea. It’s absolutely ridiculous, Heraskevytsj tells VG.
Herein lies one of the problems with neutrality. The IOC member can now not answer how to deal with whether the athletes can be employed by the defense and at the same time be a neutral athlete. This will be part of the investigations in the future, as it is a prerequisite that the athletes not represent Russia and Belarus.
– I understand perfectly well that he (Vladislav Heraskević) is asking this question. It will be an essential part of the discussion. How did you solve it? Because the content of sanctions against the authorities in Russia and Belarus as well as neutrality is consistent, says Kloster Assen.
– What do you personally think of the Russian participation?
– I have been involved in these processes, and I support the starting point that we should discuss even though it is a very difficult topic. Now, in the first place, talks will be held with private international federations, and discussions will take place in different ways in all countries. For the IOC, the main objective of the discussions is that we want global sporting participation, because this is the prerequisite for achieving our mission. I also try to deal with this as best I can, Kloster Asen replies.
How do you feel about being in this discussion?
– These discussions are demanding, but we have a legitimate interest in the Olympic movement. It is to advocate for sport and, if possible, competition across nationality, gender, race, etc. as described in the Olympic Charter. I respect what other people think, and that there are different positions on this matter. Kloster Assen answers this task that I have to do as balanced as possible.
Heller Jacobsen: – Great job
The IOC member is in regular contact with Astrid Ornholdt Jacobsen, who is a sports representative at the IOC as well as chairs the athletes’ committee of the Norwegian Sports Confederation. On Sunday, Ma Jacobsen became known He said at the meeting initiated by the International Olympic Committee.
Astrid is doing a great job. She is honest and has integrity. It is appreciated in the Sports Council and in the International Olympic Committee, Kloster Assen tells VG.
What have you and Jacobsen been talking about the past few days?
– It should be between me and her. Kloster Assen: It’s solid and I really appreciate it.
Kloster Assen says the IOC’s mandate is that sport should be played by everyone.
– But this authorization does not mean support for anything that is happening in Russia, this is a terrible short circuit. War is just cruel and cruel. And since the war in Ukraine is so cruel, it calls for a discussion about the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes now. But with a foundation in sanctions that are steadfast and strict neutrality requirements, Astrid and I try in our own forums to convey both the premises and the starting points for the operations now underway, says Kloster Assen.
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