Ivan Chuprynko’s Conduct was Unprofessional, Unsporting and Unethical

Amir Reza Mesforoush, an Iranian athlete at the World Bench Press Championships in South Africa, after receiving the bronze medal in the 74kg weight class, reached out to shake hands and congratulate his Ukranian competitor for winning the gold medal. At first, he thought that his gold medalist competitor didn’t;t notice, so he extended his hand out again lest he’d miss the chance to congratulate him, but this time the Ukrainian Ivan Chuprynko, with a sulking look nodded to indicate that he noticed but did not want to shake hands.

In a brief conversation I had with Reza Soleimani, a former member of the national water polo team and a founder of Association of Iranian Athletes for Freedom (AIAF) he called Ivan Chuprynko’s conduct unprofessional, unsporting and unethical. Reza Soleimani, while pointing out that the Islamic Republic is an anti-human regime that commits any crime to continue its hegemony, added that athletes are separate from the regime and all efforts should be directed at observing their human dignity. He also interpreted Amir Reza Mesforoush's handshake as a message of sympathy with the Ukrainian athlete and precisely against the political views of the Islamic Republic regime and its weapons aid to Russia.

International sports federations and especially the International Olympic Committee have not displayed specific and uniform policies regarding war of aggression and crimes against humanity. The International Olympic Committee’s double standards and provisional decisions under the pretext of protecting athletes’ rights have often contradicted what’s included in the Olympic Charter. On one hand, the IOC claims that sports are the rights of every human but on another hand, it bans the sports of the countries that have invaded Ukraine and deprives people of this very right. This is while in the face of other aggressions and brutal killings, including the killings of the Iranian people by the Islamic Republic, it has either not reacted or sufficed to only issue statements. The International Olympic Committee is not even tactful in keeping the politicians away from sports. The tensions rising in sports are the result of these very double standards of both the international sports federations and the International Olympic Committee that have rendered serious criticism.

Truth is that the athletes’ conduct is affected by the foggy atmosphere that’s casting a shadow on world sports. Sports should bring messages of peace and friendship. They should be a barrier against the spread of racism, discrimination, misogyny and violence. Sports are not political instruments for politicians to use for their unsporting desires. Sports are a right. A right for all humans to enjoy under fair and equal conditions.

SportsEmic Editorial Team