STATEMENT FROM EOC ATHLETES’ COMMISSION CHAIR GERD KANTER ON BEHALF OF BELARUS ATHLETES
26 October 2020
As Chair of the EOC Athletes’ Commission, I work daily with my colleagues on behalf of sportsmen and sportswomen in each country represented by the 50 National Olympic Committees of Europe. This includes the Republic of Belarus, where unfortunately we continue to receive correspondence from a growing number of athletes complaining of being politically pressurized, with the threat of being left off the national team for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 being used as a form of coercive control.
As the Olympic Charter states: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
The EOC Athletes’ Commission stands in solidarity with the athletes of Belarus, and on behalf of the Commission I urge the authorities in Belarus to act in accordance with the Olympic Charter by respecting the rights and freedoms of all athletes in your country, Olympic or otherwise.