Russian Officials Claim IOC’s Support of Israeli Athletes Highlights Double Standard

by Riley Overend 39

November 02nd, 2023 Asia, Europe, International, News

Russian officials are accusing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of hypocrisy over a recent statement of support for Israeli athletes.

“The IOC is committed to the concept of individual responsibility and athletes cannot be held responsible for the actions of their governments,” an IOC spokesperson told German news agency Deutche Presse-Agentur (DPA). “If discriminatory behavior by an athlete or official occurs, the IOC will work with the relevant National Olympic Committee and International Federation to ensure prompt action is taken, as during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

In Tokyo, Algerian Olympian Fethi Nourine and his judo coach were banned for a decade by the sport’s governing body after pulling out of a match against an Israeli athlete. A Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan was disqualified this summer for refusing to shake hands with a Russian competitor after beating her, but IOC president Thomas Bach stepped in and promised Kharlan an additional quota place at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Chernyshenko claimed that the IOC is biased toward the West and American interests while also blaming the latest Israel-Palestine conflict on the United States.

“With the military conflict unleashed by the U.S. in the Middle East, the IOC has changed its mind in the air,” Chernyshenko. “And today we hear that athletes should not be held responsible for the actions of governments. Unfortunately, we are only talking about athletes from Israel, but not from Russia. Without shyness, the IOC supports athletes of only those countries that are under the wing of the United States.

“The IOC was afraid that the Olympic Movement would collapse finally and irrevocably on the eve of the Olympic Games,” he added. “Addressing its functionaries, I emphasize: there is nothing to fear, the system is already rotten, it’s time to accept it as a fact. Let me remind you that Russia has always stood on the position of equality and non-discrimination against athletes from any country. Sport should be out of politics. Our position, unlike the IOC, is unchanged.”

The IOC responded to the criticism by reminding Russia that it violated the Olympic Charter by invading Ukraine last February. The ongoing war has resulted in the deaths of about 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 120,000 Russian troops, as of the latest known estimates in August.

Russian and Belarusian athletes are expected to return to international competition as neutral athletes in the pool at the 2024 World Championships, if they don’t actively support the war in Ukraine. However, All-Russian Swimming Federation president Vladimir Salnikov recently said he believes Russia’s chances of competing at the Paris 2024 Olympics are “close to zero,” despite indications otherwise that they’ll be able to compete — albeit without their national flag or anthem.

The IOC also said it is continuing “to monitor the situation and its impact on Israeli and Palestinian athletes,” adding that “the Israeli and Palestinian Olympic Committees have lived in peaceful coexistence for several decades.”

Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, launched a surprise attack on Israel last month that saw about 1,400 people killed and more than 200 others taken hostage. Israel then declared war on Hamas, killing more than 9,000 Palestinians over the past few weeks, most of them women and children.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has rejected calls for a cease-fire, saying Thursday, “We are advancing… Nothing will stop us.” After almost a month of fighting, U.S. President Joe Biden suggested Thursday that Israel take a humanitarian pause to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza as well as let foreign nationals leave.

On Wednesday, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations argued that Israel has no right to self-defense “as an occupying power,” citing an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling from 2004.

European Aquatics announced Thursday that it would be moving the 2024 European Water Polo Championships out of Netanya, Israel. 

Related: 

39
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

39 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Noah
4 months ago

Swimswam may be the only people I’ve ever seen call Hamas a ”militant group”

orangeman2029
Reply to  Noah
4 months ago

You’re basically admitting that you’re only following this war via a very niche, one-sided view of it, probably on social media, where only the loudest and most offensive voice stands out, and where Hamas are unprovoked terrorists and Israel are illegal genocidal settlers.

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-hamas
https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/13/middleeast/hamas-weapons-invs/index.html
https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/october-24-israel-hamas-war
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-10-28/ty-article-live/gazans-report-heaviest-night-of-attacks-since-outbreak-of-war-as-idf-expands-ground-op/0000018b-7420-d2fc-adcf-f77f6f340000
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-67083432

You can keep googling if you want to see more. But those are links from around the world and across the political spectrum to satisfy you, I hope, including Israel’s oldest daily newspaper.

DSS
4 months ago

Follow the money

Eddy
4 months ago

European and American politics are the most two-faced, slippery and hypocritical thing on earth, but effective, and this is the most important thing for any country. The West is always white and fluffy, no one cares about Yugoslavia, no one cares about the fact that poor and small Ukraine bombed those who dared not agree with their nationalistic course of people, DPR and LPR

Nick B
Reply to  Eddy
4 months ago

You make a valid point. Additionally, this was very much a provoked war. The provocation began even before Putin took power over 2 decades ago, and escalated over the last decade. Still, Russia is responsible because they technically invaded a sovereign country. This could have been negotiated before the tanks crossed the border. The hard heads on both sides made this happen.

The problem with Zelensky’s calculus is the history of United States kinetic wars, or wars the United States supported (as is the case here), after WWII. It never seems to end with a clean victory the way the United States intended, or just failed altogether. Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. If some sort… Read more »

JoeB
Reply to  Nick B
4 months ago

Nick B, quick question. Have you ever lived in Russia? If you haven’t, you are clueless to what a politically corrupt country looks like. Russia, under Putin, is the definition of politically corrupt. Russia is poor. Putin and his mafia buddies are not. As far as what is sustainable, I know what is not. Dictators. They don’t last forever. Just check the history books. And the end is not pleasant for them. The clock is not ticking on Ukraine, it is ticking on Putin. Don’t believe me? Why do weeks, if not months go by, before Putin shows himself in public. The walls are closing in. He knows it. And to answer your question, yes, I have lived in Russia.… Read more »

Nick B
Reply to  JoeB
4 months ago

I’ve been to Russia 3 times. St. Pete, Moscow, Lipetsk (business), and Volgograd. St. Pete and Moscow in 2011. Volgograd in 2013. Lipetsk in 2016. I liked St. Pete the most. Beautiful. Moscow is massive. Volgograd was stunning relative to history, especially WWII. Lipetsk was the most unique, but had the most rundown areas.

Russia’s economy has proven to be resilient, and by all measures is not poor. Economy is fairly small, with the 11th largest economy in the world, but what counts is the GDP PPP measure, which ranks them 5th in the world. They stood up to the sanctions stunningly well. I was surprised. Like it or not,

Corruption. Yes. I noted that. It is real,… Read more »

JoeB
Reply to  Nick B
3 months ago

You look at Russia’s economy through the eyes of how it is viewed by world’s business. Unless you live there, and not visit, you can’t see it through the eyes of the everyday people. Most people in Russia live on less than $1,000 (U.S.) a month. Some live on as little as $300 (U.S.) a month. It does not matter how much oil and gas Russia can export, when one man owns 90 percent, and his friends owe the other 10 percent. Has Putin been sanctioned? No. He’s felt nothing. Entire malls have closed or been rebranded by all the companies leaving Russia.

I do state facts. I lived there for more than 30 years. I know more about… Read more »

WillW
Reply to  Nick B
3 months ago

India? Really? Have you been to the country recently? I have. If India’s country is so strong economically, why can’t it do something about its air quality. Last week, in New Delhi the airborne particle pollution reached PM 2.5 — a concentration nearly 80 times the World Health Organization’s recommended limit. Spreadsheets and GNPs are one thing. Actual living is quite another. You focus too much on the political and too little on the people.

Pacific Whirl
Reply to  Nick B
4 months ago

I would like to hear from you about the “borrowed money”. Could you explain why did the States use that and where does it come from?

Lisa Simpson
Reply to  Eddy
4 months ago

US invaded Iraq unprovoked based on made up “WMD” and the resulting war killed a million civilians.

US and hipocrisy/double standard.

Name a more iconic duo.

Nick B
Reply to  Lisa Simpson
4 months ago

This is an excellent point. I’m embarrassed to say that the Western propaganda machine is the best in the world. They’re the best at pointing fingers, accusing, canceling, and demonizing their opposition, but rarely look inward and attempt to address and correct their own flaws. It has become more of a arrogant hegemon than anything else. Rules for thee and not for me….

SwimmerGuy
4 months ago

Russian doing russian things. Its almost not worth having this post on what they said. Cause they can and will say ANYTHING to disperse blaim.

Honestly, on that thought, shouldnt swimswam be about… swimming…. including these events probe this unproductive discuss and really just airs out biases (at best) and intentional manipulations (at worst).
If its not a swimming result, likely best to avoid it.

SwimmerGuy
4 months ago

Without making this a political topic (likely impossible), wouldnt it be nice if there was just a policy of since last event (ie. since last Olympics or Worlds or Europeans Champs etc.) a country bombed another country, they are banned from said event.
That feels straight forward enough.

FTW
Reply to  SwimmerGuy
4 months ago

Palestine is not a country

TheSalmon
Reply to  FTW
4 months ago

according to 138 UN nations it is….

JoeB
Reply to  SwimmerGuy
4 months ago

So, Israel should have done nothing when it was bombed so it could compete in an Olympics? Is that your point? For real?

I miss the ISL
4 months ago

This would be different if the IOC supported Palestine, because in that case it would be the IOC supporting an aggressor (Hamas), and not supporting another aggressor (Russia). But comparing Russia to Israel is not the point they should be making. It’s hypocritical and geopolitically inaccurate.

Dee
4 months ago

Russia can cry unfairness all they want, and they have points at times when taken in isolation, but I find it hard to argue Russia’s current predicament is not the result of many transgressions over a sustained period of time.

Let’s not forget Russian’s competed in 2016 *after* Crimea had been invaded and annexed. Then we had the Sochi scandal, where industrial scale cheating was discovered, and finally we had an unpovoked invasion of a neighbouring country.

We also have a situation where Russian sportspeople have been used as propaganda by Putin and have extremely close ties to the Kremlin propaganda machine, the very same Kremlin that saw fit to allow state media to broadcast a news segment in… Read more »

Sub13
4 months ago

USA should take major blame for the Israel-Palestine situation, but it doesn’t excuse Russia

Last edited 4 months ago by Sub13
Thank you gor noticing
Reply to  Sub13
4 months ago

Maybe you meant that Russia and Iran should take major blane for supporting terror organizations that use their own people as human shields before you write your bul****.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Thank you gor noticing
4 months ago

The US could stop Israel’s current assault whenever. We just don’t want to.

JoeB
Reply to  Steve Nolan
4 months ago

Israel is not Amerca’s little brother, contrary to what the ill-informed think and believe. Israel doesn’t answer to the U.S. Israel is doing what it always has done – protect its own, no matter what the rest of the world thinks and believes. Go back to the 1972 Olympics in Munich, when Israel’s athletes were first kidnapped, then murdered. Israel said it would hunt down and kill all those who were responsible. And even though it took two decades, Israel did precisely that. When Israel tells you what it’s going to do, believe it. And nothing, and no one, is going to change the mission.

Iceman
Reply to  JoeB
4 months ago

Someone had to say it….liberals out here believing Hamas is somehow a freedom fighter group…Israel has the right to exterminate all of Hamas and any of it’s supporters, because guess what, those supporters calling for the freeing of Palestine from the river to the see translates to “wipe out Israel.” they can cry foul and scream all they want, but Israel is not in the wrong for offering peace 5 times, getting thousands of their civilians murdered in terror attacks, and then choosing to be done with it, and launch airstrikes to retaliate. And before anyone says anything, all fo the rockets launched by Hamas are on civilians. They opened they gates of hell.

Lisa Simpson
Reply to  Sub13
4 months ago

Agreed.

bob
Reply to  Sub13
4 months ago

This might be your stupidest post ever……and that’s saying something.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

Read More »