Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned Russian athletes from most all of international sport since this past May, the nation has continued to find ways to compete at events like the “Friendship Games” and the Spartikiad. Along with this competition is continued training, which has included hosting training camps outside its borders. Russia’s Ministry of Sports has ordered its national sports governing body to suspend these activities abroad, however.
Allied nations Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and China have hosted Russian various training camps. Specifically, the suspension applies to training camps and competitions for which the Ministry of Sports finances the trip.
The mandate was handed down following this week’s announcement from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that nearly 300,000 reservists have been called up to ‘fight the full force of the “collective West” which has been supplying Kyiv’s forces with advanced weapons, training and intelligence.’ (Reuters)
As such, the suspension of international training camps for Russian athletes is considered a tactic to ensure those of fighting age are essentially contained and prevented from fleeing Russia.
Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin told state-run Russian media outlet TASS that domestic training events will instead be held internally.
“Our country has the necessary resources to organize training events for national teams,” said Matytsin.
“The current decision is dictated by the general course to strengthen the national sports industry and the formation of sports and economic sovereignty.
“We are preparing the training camp schedule together with the Russian sports federations, we are in constant working interaction with them.”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the United Nations has estimated that 6,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, in addition to tens-of-thousands of soldiers (estimates range widely depending on the source). A recent investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council has confirmed that human rights violations have been committed in Ukraine, with more evidence of such violations coming as Ukraine pushes Russia back from certain occupied territories in the country.