MINSK, 7 April (BelTA) – The World Olympians Association (WOA) spoke against the banning of Belarusian and Russian athletes from competitions, BelTA learned from the WOA website.
“The WOA Executive Committee decided that the fundamental principles of Olympism as outlined in principles 4 and 6 of the Olympic Charter should be always respected and that the right of Olympians and athletes as individuals to participate in sporting events must be upheld and promoted. This echoes the “Declaration of Support for the Olympic Charter” signed by Olympians from all five continents at WOA's World Olympians Forum in 2015 in which they pledged ‘to oppose any political or governmental interference in the autonomy of sports organizations which might prevent an athlete from exercising their right to compete in the Olympic Games or other major sporting events which also embody the Olympic spirit',” the statement reads.
The WOA Executive Committee understands and respects the recommendation of the IOC to ban Russia and Belarus. However, WOA strongly believes that decisions on whether to compete or not should be left to each individual athlete and should be based on the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter.