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10 August 2021, 19:25

Belarus' NOC comments on U.S. sanctions

MINSK, 10 August (BelTA) - The sanctions can be regarded as the recognition by our opponents (we can already call them that) of the achievements of Belarusian athletes, the cohesion of the Olympic team and its support from the Belarusian people, the Belarusian National Olympic Committee said in the commentary with regards to the U.S. sanctions, BelTA has learned.

“We consider the U.S. decision to impose sanctions against the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus, which is a public association engaged exclusively in the development of the Olympic movement, sport and physical education in the country, as absolutely unreasonable. The decision causes only bewilderment and a feeling of pity,'”the NOC said.

The statement reads that sanctions against a non-profit organization attest to a lack of an attempt to understand the international structure of sport management. They violate the principle "sport and politics do not mix" and show the desire to limit opportunities for our citizens to go in for sports and those for our country to develop elite sport in general.

“The sanctions can also be regarded as the recognition by our opponents (we can already call them that) of the achievements of Belarusian athletes, the cohesion of the Olympic team and its support from the Belarusian people,” the NOC noted.

The NOC emphasized that while positioning itself as a guarantor and even a paragon of compliance with the rule of law, as an advocate of all kinds of democratic rights, freedoms and aspirations, the United States does not bother at all to respect those very rights and freedoms. The presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial and other basic legal principles of equality have been sidelined for political reasons.

“It is sad that the U.S. authorities use terms like ‘allegedly', ‘likely', and ‘potentially' when justifying legally binding decisions. We would be very grateful if our American ‘partners' could show evidence of corruption in Belarus' NOC, evidence of money laundering and sanctions evasion in their justification for sanctions,” the statement said.

The NOC stressed that they do not take into account the fact that Belarus' NOC undergoes a thorough external audit by the International Olympic Committee without any faults found.

Moreover, this approach with regard to the sports organization recognized by the IOC as a full member of the Olympic movement, whose activity is regulated primarily by the Olympic Charter, without involving the IOC itself looks absolutely absurd,” the National Olympic Committee summed up.

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