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Russian sportsmen and women are not like any others!

Refusing to draw the necessary conclusions would seriously damage the Olympic ideal.

Russian sportsmen and women are not like any others!

Yes, the decision to exclude Russians and Belarusians would have serious geopolitical consequences, and we can understand the IOC's reluctance, and the reluctance of anyone sincerely attached to the humanist values of sport.

But Russian sportsmen and women are not sportsmen and women like any others.

Just after the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where they were theoretically competing under a neutral flag, but wearing Russian colours and with a work by the neutral composer Tchaikovsky as their anthem, "Shoigu (the Russian Defence Minister) thanked the CSKA athletes (45 medals out of 71) for their significant contribution to enhancing the prestige of the Russian army and the country as a whole. He pledged the army's full support in preparing for the next (Paris) Olympics".

You have read correctly: the full support of an army that Putin has also assured of full support in his war of aggression in Ukraine.

In short, the Russian army currently has two priorities: to destroy Ukraine and to win as many medals as possible in Paris.

Russian sportsmen and women do not come under the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction (unless they have personally participated in war crimes). It is up to the international sports movement to draw the conclusions from the absolute disregard for Olympic principles shown by Russian sport as a whole, in a systemic way for many years now.

Of course, there are many countries which do not fully respect these principles. But in this game, Russia is quite simply out of the game.

Without a response commensurate with what is at stake, the very credibility of the Olympic principles would be seriously undermined.

Can France, the host country but also the country of the Olympic revival in the modern era, remain indifferent to such an attack?

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