ISSF President's statement on participation of Russia and Belarus athletes

During the recent ISSF World Cup in Bhopal, Rossi also met with Raninder Singh, President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).

Luciano Rossi in a file photo (Image Credits - ISSF)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Mar 23, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The participation of Russian and Belarusian shooters at the 2024 Paris Olympics is still a matter of debate, according to Luciano Rossi, the head of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). Rossi, who won election in November 2022, will speak with Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee, in order to further investigate the problem (IOC).

Athletes from Russia and Belarus were initially barred from competing in the Paris Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but then made an appeal to sports groups to find a solution to allow these competitors to take part under a neutral flag. The ISSF last year had obediently followed the IOC’s orders despite being governed by two Russians, Vladimir Lisin and Alexander Ratner. The head of Russia’s largest steel manufacturer, Lisin, had resisted quitting his position despite allegations that the company’s products were used in military operations in Ukraine.

What is Luciano Rossi’s opinion on the participation of Russian and Belarussian athletes?

Rossi eventually defeated Lisin in a heated election at the ISSF General Assembly on November 30, 2022. Rossi underscored the importance of a quick conclusion on the sidelines of the first-ever shooting World Cup in Bhopal, saying athletes should not be forced to shoulder the burden of “a complicated political situation.” The IOC guideline, which attempts to prevent athletes from being penalised for non-athlete-related political decisions, is in accord with Rossi’s ideas. Rossi acknowledged the seriousness of the situation in Ukraine, yet he additionally said he was working on a plan to let Russian and Belarusian athletes compete in the Paris Olympics.

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During the recent ISSF World Cup in Bhopal, Rossi also met with Raninder Singh, who is the President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), and other key representatives of the shooting federation. He stated that he wanted to work with the NRAI to ensure the continued success of all sports. In an interview with Sportstar, he stated, “It’s my pleasure to come together with the NRAI president, vice-president, and general-secretary. I think only if we cooperate with the spirit of friendship and support, that’s the best way for the future. I say now we are all together. We forget some fights because we cannot do this for the future, surely… I need cooperation. I will do my best for all. And this is, I think, the best way for the future of all sports.”

Know more about the ISSF President Luciano Rossi

Since he was young, he has been interested in sports. His father Ferdinando, a doctor and 27-year president of CONI Umbria, introduced him to the sport of shooting. Ferdinando then instilled this interest in his own children. As an athlete, he joined the Italian National team after winning a number of trophies, including the Junior World Championship bronze medal in 1969, the Junior European Team and Individual titles in 1973, and the Italian National Trap Championship title in 1985.

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