The head of the European Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, stated that the decision made by World Athletics to provide prize money to gold medallists at the upcoming Olympics in Paris is discriminatory and goes against Olympic values.

The context 

World Athletics (WA) and the International Boxing Association (IBA) have announced medal payments for their respective winners. WA is awarding its 48 Olympic champions in Paris $50,000 in prize money.

Silver and bronze medallists won’t be paid in cash at these Games; instead, they will be paid at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, under the direction of WA, led by former Olympian and current International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sebastian Coe.

Moreover, the IBA has declared that from July 26 to August 11, it will give money to all its medallists —  $100,000 to gold, $50,000 to silver and $25,000 to bronze medal winners.

The opposition

The IOC, which views these decisions as direct meddling in its events without any previous consultation, is upset, and so are other international federations.

“We believe in the Olympic Games the athletes go there to compete for the values of the Olympic Games and their last preoccupation is to get money and bonuses,” said Capralos, an IOC member. 

The member added: “I think that every country through their National Olympic Committees and governments have set bonuses for athletes winning medals… I think just giving some money to the gold winner is discriminatory and does not follow the principles of solidarity.”

Overall, 32 sports and 10,500 competitors are expected to compete in Paris.

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With the IBA, Capralos stated, there was no contact at all. 

“Regarding boxing there is no international boxing federation. With them (IBA) there have not been any discussions,” Capralos admitted. 

The IOC withdrew recognition from the IBA last year for a number of reasons, including matters of governance and finances.  Due to this, the IBA is not hosting the boxing competition at the Olympics in Paris. Moreover, the IOC has called for the establishment of a new international organization for the sport and issued a warning to athletes whose national federations supported the IBA rather than its IOC-approved replacement that they would not be permitted to compete in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.


Source: CNA

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