MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) - The National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus and the sports community of Belarus categorically oppose the decisions of the IOC Executive Board of 25 and 28 February 2022, BelTA learned from the press service of the NOC of Belarus.
A statement by the Belarusian National Olympic Committee reads:
"The principle 'sport and politics do not mix' has long been applied by the International Olympic Committee very selectively. By supporting the political decisions of individual countries, the IOC deprives many athletes of once-in-a-lifetime chance to prove themselves.
The calls of the IOC Executive Board to suspend Belarusian athletes from international competitions, not to use the national flag and not to play the national anthem of the Republic of Belarus are illegitimate and contrary to international law, the NOC of Belarus said. This decision is beyond any explanation and is based on false information.
The IOC declares the protection of athletes from all forms of harassment and discrimination, including on the basis of nationality, as its highest priority. Why then does it allow the suspension of innocent athletes from Belarus who have not violated anything and who oppose any wars and armed conflicts.
Belarusian athletes participating in international competitions are already facing threats and discrimination, fueled among other things, by the IOC.
By making hasty decisions, the IOC is engaging in a sanctions and information war instead of creating and building peace on the basis of Olympic ideals.
The IOC does not care that Belarus did not violate the Olympic truce and that Belarusian troops are not involved in the conflict on the territory of Ukraine.
Belarus remembers better than anyone the consequences of the terrible, destructive war. This is why our country has once again offered to host peaceful negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Belarusian athletes, the entire sporting community of the country, and all citizens of Belarus want only one thing - peace and harmony in the world!
We call upon the entire international sporting community to unite and truly remain an Olympic family in the most difficult of times. It is necessary to prevent the incitement of discord, anger and hatred within the sporting community and to set an example of unity and commitment to peace for politicians of all countries.”