Vladimir Putin dismisses any threat of boycott

Dec 6, 2017: Vladimir Putin spoke. He did it at the end of the day, Wednesday, December 6, the day after the IOC decision to suspend Russia for the next Winter Games. And, not without surprise, the Russian president was conciliatory (Vladimir Putin dismisses).

With the hard method, he preferred the opening. At the prospect of a boycott, he suggests participation.

Speaking during a meeting with the workers of a factory in Nizhny Novgorod, on the Volga, Vladimir Putin explained, quoted by the Russian media:

“Without doubt, we will not oppose any blockage we will not stop our athletes from taking part in the Pyeongchang Olympics. “

Staying right in his boots, still refusing to acknowledge the existence of institutionalized state doping, Vladimir Putin also explained:

“The important thing is that in the conclusions of the IOC Executive Board, it is written that there was no government system of doping support. This is an important conclusion. Then he asked, “If there was no government support, why forbid to participate under our national symbols. This is a big question. “

As soon as the IOC decision was announced on Tuesday, December 5, several Russian deputies and senators had said it would be humiliating for Russia to participate under an Olympic flag. They had brandished the threat of a boycott out loud.

Obviously, they spoke too fast. By midday on Wednesday, the Kremlin hinted that it would be prudent to wait.

Dmitry Peskov, his spokesman, said the situation was “serious”, but “do not give in to emotions, but rather carefully analyze the decision of the IOC. “

According to several sources, decisions will be taken after the next meeting of the Russian Olympic Committee, scheduled for 12 December.

“Before that, drawing conclusions would be premature,” said the Kremlin spokesman.

In the athletes’ camp, the disappointment gave way to some hope. “We have to go to the Olympics. To refuse is to surrender, “suggested hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk, quoted by TASS .

Same trend from former pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, now a member of the IOC: “Speaking to the athletes, I mean they must not despair and continue to train for the Games. “

On the other hand, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, will not wait for the next few days to choose a radical option. He has already warned on his Instagram page that “no athlete living in Chechnya will participate in the Games under neutral flag. “

Last news of the day: According to an IOC spokesperson, the suspension of Russia could be lifted at the very end of the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

In such a case, Russian athletes allowed to participate in the Games under cover of neutrality could behind the Russian flag, at the closing ceremony, Sunday, February 25, 2018. —- FRANCSJEUX

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