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IOC president Bach: Olympics not a political stage “to score points”

Feb 4, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

Thomas Bach AP

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach opened the group’s 126th Session by declaring in a speech that the Olympics should not be a stage for global political battles.

As outlined by NBCOlympics.com writer Alan Abrahamson, Bach pleaded for disagreements like those to be settled “in a peaceful direct political dialogue and not on the backs of the athletes.”

“We are grateful to [political leaders] who respect the fact that sport can only contribute to development and peace if it is not used as a stage for political dissent or for trying to score points in internal or external political contests,” the former gold medalist fencer said in Sochi.

MORE: IOC president Thomas Bach expects successful Sochi Olympics

“To other political leaders we say: Please understand what our responsibilities are and what your responsibilities are.”

For more from Bach’s speech, Abrahamson’s entire story can be read here.