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‘Political issue’: Belarus Olympic Committee vice president accuses IOC of ‘listening only to opponents’ while imposing Tokyo ban

‘Political issue’: Belarus Olympic Committee vice president accuses IOC of ‘listening only to opponents’ while imposing Tokyo ban
The vice president of the Belarus Olympic Committee, Dmitry Dovgalenok, has said the Olympic governing body took a one-sided position while imposing a Tokyo 2020 ban on a number of Belarusian officials.

The Belarusian sports body claimed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “listened just to opponents” while penalizing Belarusian officials, including head of state Alexander Lukashenko, who are banned from attending next year’s Summer Games.

READ MORE: Belarus President Lukashenko BANNED from attending Olympic Games

The Olympic bosses decided to act against the Belarusian president, his son Viktor and Belarusian Ice Hockey Association President Dmitri Baskov after receiving multiple complaints of discrimination against the country’s athletes over their political views.

Dovgalenok, who hasn’t been penalized by the IOC, said that the body’s stance toward Belarusian officials was biased and politically-motivated.

There is also a political issue here. We did not expect this. Because they were counting on dialogue,” Dovgalenok said.

We actively corresponded with the IOC, provided all the necessary information, but the IOC representatives listened only to the point of view of the opponents, they did not go out to the NOC of Belarus for consultations,” he added.

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Belarus has been engulfed by large-scale protests since the presidential election in August, which saw Lukashenko claim a sixth term with 80 percent of the vote.

Some of the country’s top athletes who sided with the demonstrators have reportedly faced the consequences of a police crackdown.

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