The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was today provided with interim reports on the situation of athletes in the Republic of Belarus and on the latest developments in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).
NOC of Belarus
During its virtual meeting, the EB followed up on its decision from 7 October 2020 to strengthen its investigation into the compliance of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Republic of Belarus with the Olympic Charter.
In response to various lines of enquiry, the IOC has been provided with detailed information from both the NOC and the NOC’s Athletes’ Commission on this matter, and assurances were obtained on the NOC’s full compliance with the Olympic Charter.
Nonetheless, the IOC EB has again expressed its serious concern with regard to the overall situation of the sporting community in Belarus, will continue to monitor the situation of Belarusian athletes in advance of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and remains open to receiving any further information relating to athlete discrimination on the grounds of political views if these athletes are under the authority of the NOC.
The IOC is a civil, non-governmental organisation, and its mandate is limited to sport. It has neither the mandate nor the capability to change laws or political systems, including the laws of a sovereign country, and will therefore not comment on the political developments in any country.
The IOC takes its mandate very seriously to ensure that the NOCs of all countries respect their obligations under the Olympic Charter, and as a consequence athletes under their authority are able to participate in their sport free from any form of discrimination. That means, in particular, that they are not discriminated against for their political views.
International Weightlifting Federation
The IOC EB was also updated on the latest developments in the IWF. The IOC has established contact with the new interim President of the IWF, Dr Michael Irani. Following its own decision on 7 October 2020, the IOC EB remains highly concerned about the confusing decisions taken by the IWF Board in the last few days, particularly as regards the chosen replacements as Acting President, as well as the global governance of the International Federation.
At this stage it is too early to make any recommendation in follow-up to its decision from 7 October 2020, but the ongoing actions of the IWF will be closely monitored. The IOC will also study the latest World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report on the IWF. In the meantime, the IOC will follow up on the required actions as identified in the last IOC EB meeting.