President and Secretary General of the World Archery
21.04.2023 No. 51
Dear Mr. President,
Dear Mr. Secretary General!
Ukrainian Archery Federation of together with the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine expresses sincere gratitude to the World Archery and to every member of the World Olympic Family for the solidarity with and support of Ukrainian athletes and the entire Ukrainian Olympic Sports Family.
As for our part, we adhere to the unchanging opinion that amid the still ongoing unprecedented brutal military aggression of the russian federation, supported by the republic of belarus, against Ukraine, representatives of the aggressor states must not perform on the international sports arenas in any status.
As you know, on 28 March 2023, the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (hereinafter – the “IOC”) adopted the “Recommended Conditions of Participation of Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel with a russian and belarusian Passport in International Sports Competitions Organised by the International Federations and International Sports Event Organisers” (hereinafter – “IOC Recommendations”), whereby it proposed international sports federations to admit russian and belarusian athletes, as well as officials, to international sports competitions upon the principles of neutrality.
The IOC still adopted its recommendations, despite the fact that russia is an aggressor and terrorist state which commits genocide against the Ukrainian Nation. No actions to demonstrate russia’s desire to end the war, bloodshed, and terrorism have been taken. Russian and belarusian athletes have either not made any statements regarding the need to stop the aggression against Ukraine and liberate the sovereign territory of our State. Even the statement of the president of the russian Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, that military service for the protection of russia’s interests in the war against Ukraine is a matter of honor for russian athletes, failed to raise any red flags with the IOC regarding the political bias of russian athletes.
Despite the universal condemnation of the russian federation’s armed aggression against Ukraine, many russian athletes continue to actively support the policies of Vladimir Putin and boldly demonstrate their approval of the war.
The IOC’s proposal to allow russian and belarusian athletes to participate in international sports competitions in the status of neutral athletes is unjust and illogical with a view to the fact that among the mentioned sportsmen there are many of those who have a military rank and hold membership in the Central Sports Club of the Army, an autonomous institution of the Ministry of Defense of russia. Military service is by no means an indicator of an athlete’s neutrality.
Given the above, there are currently no accurate and logical explanations, and may not be in future, as to which actions of the athletes will testify to their neutrality. That is to say, even the fact that an athlete signs a declaration against the war and/or publicly condemns the war may not be enough to ascertain his/her neutral position, since the athlete may conceal his/her real attitude for the sake of participation in the Olympics. Needless to mention anything about the athlete who does not express his/her position at all.
The next practical problem, which is inextricably linked to the first one, concerns the practical possibility of dividing individual competitions into the ones with the participation of russians and belarusians and team competitions, which should be held without them.
Taking into account all the factors listed above, on behalf of the Ukrainian Archery Federation, we call on the World Archery:
to take a decision to prevent participation of russian and belarusian athletes in any status in international competitions until the complete cessation of russia’s armed aggression, supported by belarus, against Ukraine.
We sincerely appreciate your unwavering support, and would like to reiterate Ukraine’s steadfast stance. As long as russian troops, with the complicity of the belarusian government, continue to commit acts of genocide against the Ukrainian people, russian and belarusian athletes must be prohibited from participating in any international competitions in any, including neutral, status.
We rely on your solidarity with the Ukrainian Olympic and Sports Movement, your resolute position, and your consistent and well-considered actions.
Vice-President of the Ukrainian Archery Federation
Head of the Athletes’ Commission of the Ukrainian Archery Federation