RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) – The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) urges the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to oppose the unprecedented level of outside pressure that threatens to split the Olympic family, ROC President Alexander Zhukov said Tuesday.
"I urge you, respected IOC members, to resist this unprecedented pressure which is now on the entire Olympic movement, and not to allow this pressure to split the global Olympic family. The threat of this is now greater than ever, and I believe that you will make objective decisions that will first and foremost protect the rights of clean and honest athletes," Zhukov said in closing remarks at the 129th IOC session.
Political affairs interfere directly in sports, Zhukov said.
"You expressed your trust in clean Russian athletes, and I would like to express my gratitude to you for doing that. But at the same time we are witnessing the enormous pressure that has been put on the IOC by government and representatives of political circles of certain countries. We are witnessing direct interference of politics in sports."
Providing as an example a letter penned by 19 sport ministers to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes ahead of IOC's decision not to do so last month, Zhukov said the Olympic movement and human rights are under attack.
"This challenge is addressed not to Russia, it is addressed to the whole Olympic family," he stressed.