Dmitry Chernyshenko said the IOC operates under pressure from outside forces
The Russian gymnastics team competes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. © Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is well aware that competitions are significantly diminished without Russian athletes, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko. He claimed that the IOC is under pressure from outside forces to act against Russia, including from the US government.
“Unfortunately, the IOC is not an independent organization. As we can see, they are subject to direct influence from the side of the US State Department and act absolutely on their orders,” Chernyshenko said in an appearance on Russian television on Wednesday, as quoted by TASS.
Chernyshenko pointed to a declaration at an IOC summit earlier in December, when the organization said it would explore a pathway back to competition for Russian and Belarusian athletes, but under strictly neutral status.