Press releases 7th December 2019

Open Letter to Sir Craig Reedie

Dear Mr President,

As the President of the International Fencing Federation I understand the importance of the matters that will be considered on December 9, 2019. I fully support the most severe sanctions against any doping offenders but only if the decisions are fair and based on general principles of law and the Olympic Charter.

While actually recognizing that the Russian Olympic Committee is blameless the Compliance Review Committee recommends to prohibit the participation of its elected representatives at the most important sport events which will unquestionably discriminate clean Russian athletes against other athletes. The ban to flow [sic.] Russia’s flag is another obvious discrimination because the ability of an athlete to compete under the flag of its country is not a special privilege but the basic human right of any athlete.

The ruthless fight against doping shall not be turned into lynching and the application of new sanctions for the second time for the same doping violation. While guilty ones must definitely be punished as hard as possible the innocent ones shall not be deprived of the most important human rights.

The purpose of the World Anti-Doping Code is to protect the athletes’ fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport. I suggest to follow this purpose and to protect the fundamental right of clean Russian athletes to participate in international competitions without discrimination and unwarranted restrictions.

• This Open Letter is understood to have been published by Alisher Usmanov, President of the international fencing federation (FIE), on 7 December 2019. A copy was published by Russian State news agency TASS, but also by InsideTheGames in this news article.

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