The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine condemns the partial change of the position of the International Olympic Committee regarding the non-admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international sports competitions in connection with the publication of the "Recommended Conditions of Participation for Individual Neutral Athletes and Support Personnel with a Russian and Belarusian Passport in International Sports Competitions Organised by the International Federations and International Sports Events Organisers" (hereinafter - the "Recommended Conditions").
We have consistently advocated and will continue to insist that under the conditions of the unprecedented unprovoked military aggression of the Russian Federation with the support of the Republic of Belarus against Ukraine, which contradicts the principles of the Olympic Charter, representatives of aggressor states should not be present at international sports arenas.
We regret that the IOC has used the concerns raised by the UN Special Rapporteurs on non-discrimination solely on the basis of athletes' nationality as an pretext to reverse radically its previous well-argued stance on the recommendation to not to invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, in cooperation with the National Olympic Committee and Ukrainian sports law experts, developed a well-founded legal position of the Ukrainian side on the need to extend sports sanctions against representatives of the aggressor state, that was communicated to all stakeholders of the Olympic Movement (https://noc-ukr.org/news/23375/).
We took into account that the IOC's definition of "neutral participation" in the Recommended Conditions was developed only for those international sports federations and/or organizers of international sports events that "decide, at their sole discretion and in accordance with their rules/statutes - also taking into account individual circumstances - to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to international sports competitions".
We admit that the IOC has maintained sanctions against the governments of the Russian Federation and Belarus and expect it to strictly monitor all actors in the Olympic Movement for compliance.
We note that the "Recommended Conditions" have taken into account the position of Ukraine and its sympathizers on the non-admission of war supporters, as well as military personnel and law enforcement officers of the Russian Federation and Belarus to the competitions.
The "Recommended Conditions" indicate that participation of teams from Russia and Belarus is not considered.
The "Recommended Conditions" effectively prevent the demonstration in any way of the presence or any mention or sign of the presence of athletes from the Russian Federation and Belarus or their fans during sporting events.
Besides, a complete ban on any political comments prior to, during and following the event, as well as the presence of any signs of affiliation with the aggressor states or their organizations (coat of arms, flag, colors, emblems, commercial and non-commercial symbols of institutions and organizations, etc.) on uniforms, clothing, equipment, accessories and personal items is a condition for the participation of the so-called "Individual Neutral Athletes".
We proceed from the assumption that the "Recommended Conditions" should primarily be applied in those several sports where the athletes from the Russian Federation and Belarus have already been admitted to competitions.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, thanks to the heroic struggle of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with foreign partners, the NOC of Ukraine and other sports movement stakeholders, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on Youth and Sports, diplomats, the Ukrainian diaspora, athletes and all supporters of our country will continue to work to prevent representatives of the Russian Federation and Belarus from participating in international sports competitions, including the Olympic Games, as long as the Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine continues.