The German Olympic Sports Confederation sees international sport challenged to adapt to "political climate change" in the wake of the Russian war in Ukraine.
"The new world order will be a conflict order for the foreseeable future: with Russia, but maybe also with China," said DOSB CEO Torsten Burmester of the German Press Agency. "In view of this situation, sport must ask itself what role it wants to play on the changed playing field."
German sport is currently resisting the return of athletes from Russia and Belarus to international competitions. However, if the calculated aggression changes coexistence worldwide, "we have to examine whether the long-term exclusion of athletes and the inclusion of sport in political sanctions is a suitable means," said Burmester.
There is a danger that the benefits in the political field are manageable, but "the possible damage to sporting values and the Olympic Charter is unforeseeable".
"As members of this Olympic family, we see that unity in world sport is at risk. Sport is not apolitical, it has to be political in order to assert its legitimate interests," stressed Burmester. "And he will always have to deal with political realities. "Perhaps we need even clearer rules of the game and less ad hoc action in world sport in view of the entry into a new age of systemic conflicts," said the DOSB board member.