IOC Suspends Russian Olympic Committee for Breach of Olympic Charter

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a press release dated October 12, 2023, announcing its decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee with immediate effect, for breach of the Olympic Charter.

On October 5, the Russian Olympic Committee is said to have taken a unilateral decision to include certain regional sports organisations as its members, which actually fall under the jurisdiction of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee (NOC). The IOC maintains that this act was in violation of the Olympic Charter as it infringed upon the territorial integrity of Ukraine’s Olympic Committee.

On account of the suspension, the Russian Olympic Committee will be “no longer entitled to operate as a National Olympic Committee, as defined in the Olympic Charter, and cannot receive any funding from the Olympic Movement”. IOC’s statement also adds that it “reserves the right to decide about the participation of individual neutral athletes with a Russian passport in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 at the appropriate time”.

Commending the decision of the IOC, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed, ” Everyone in the world should respect the territorial integrity of nations and the UN [United Nations] Charter…If someone in Russia thinks they can use sports and the Olympic movement as a weapon, that will definitely not work”. He added, “Thank you to everyone who defends the principles of Olympism”.