The national team of Russia on hockey will be able to take part in the Olympic games in 2018, but under a different name, said the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach.
The IOC Executive Board on 5 December on the basis of the investigations conducted by commissions of Denis Oswald and Samuel Schmid decided on the disqualification of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), while “pure” Russian athletes who will be drug testing recommended by the special Commission, will have the opportunity to perform at the Olympics 2018 under the neutral flag. This means that in honor of the winners of awards will hoisted the Olympic flag and play the Olympic anthem.
“Hockey team may go to the Olympic games, but it will be called not against Russia,” — said Bach. According to him, the team will be known as the OAR (Olympic Athlete from Russia — an Olympic athlete from Russia).
After the official announcement of the verdict of the IOC, many Russian officials, including sports, called for a boycott of the Game, as the conditions are humiliating. However, the President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov said that the decision on the participation of Russian athletes will be made at the Olympic Assembly.
According to the forward of Russian national team on hockey Ilya Kovalchuk, to go to the Game you need. “To go to the Olympics it is necessary! To give up means to surrender! Are all aware that the IOC decision is pure politics, and against whom it is directed. In principle, it was clear that there would be such a solution. But if the athletes go there, it will unite the country. All “clean” athletes have to go. For many this will be the last Game, and the ability to get to the Olympics they will no longer be”, — said Kovalchuk.
He added that the athletes out of politics and the Olympics in Pyeongchang will not differ from other tournaments. “Patriotism, love of country — it is in the heart. It’s not necessary to shout or even wearing a flag on his chest. If, God forbid, will be able to perform well, we do sing a hymn”, he concluded.
On someone else’s misfortune…
Earlier it was reported that in the case of non-admission of the national team of Russia on hockey, its place may be taken by the Belarusian team, as its global ranking allows you to play the Games. But in Minsk this opportunity commented on with caution, noting a large number of fine moments.
“If we talk about the possible replacement of the Russian national team Belarusian team, we would like to build happiness on someone else’s grief. We had to solve the issue on the ice, and now nothing depends on us. But if the situation so happens that Russia will not participate in the Games, then we will the opportunity to consider. But I don’t think it would come to this”, — said the Deputy Chairman of the Federation of hockey of Belarus and the Council of the International ice hockey Federation (IIHF) Sergey Goncharov.
He expressed the opinion that all “clean” athletes must participate in the Games under the flag of their country. “But if the IOC decision is, though not for me to judge, but Russia should come to Korea under a neutral flag. The first thing to think about athletes. If you ask them, they are all ready under a neutral flag to fight for the Motherland. If you ask those who did not go to the Games in 1984, all of them will tell you that with pleasure would go. I think in any case, the victory of the Russians in Korea, the Russian anthem will be performed in the Kremlin and on red square and throughout the country, it is also very important,” — said Goncharov.
Olympic winter games in Pyeongchang will be held from 9 to 25 February 2018.